Some 250 people have been evacuated from St Paul’s Cathedral and the surrounding area following a nearby gas leak.
Around 50 staff and visitors were then evacuated from the iconic cathedral and another 200 were instructed to leave businesses in the area.
Two fire engines, two fire rescue units and support vehicles were sent to the scene at 1.20pm.
A gas main was found to be leaking into the basement of a restaurant and office block in St Paul’s Churchyard.
The area remained closed to the public hours later. At 5pm, a 25 metre cordon was still in place.
⛔MAJOR ROAD CLOSURES⛔
Many roads around St Paul's are closed due to a gas leak. Please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/2ENSSWCV2E
— PC Harry Rance (@PCHarryRance)
Police said road closures would “be in place for some time” and people aiming to travel through the area should “find alternative routes where possible”.
The cathedral said any visitors affected could use their ticket any day until Saturday, October 10 or reschedule for a later date.
The incident occurred just moments before firefighters were called to a gas leak at a range of shops on Regent Street, in the centre of the capital.
A gas main ruptured below ground level and gas leaked into the basement of an adjacent premises, LFB said.
Around 150 people were evacuated from buildings in the area by the police and and a 50 metre cordon was put in place as a precaution.