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London’s Westfield shopping centre evacuated as ‘fire sparks stampede’

This is the moment London’s Westfield centre in Stratford was evacuated, causing a mass ‘stampede’ of panicked shoppers.

Fear erupted after emergency crews raced to the east London shopping centre just after 5.15pm, with terrified customers speculating that a bomb, gun or knife attack had taken place after an alarm sounded.

After fleeing shoppers caused a crush, the Met Police tweeted: ‘We are aware of a fire alarm at Westfield, officers are at the scene. ‘We believe it’s a small fire at this early stage.

“Will confirm with a further tweet asap.”

They later added: ‘Incident confirmed as a small fire at #Westfield #Stratford, police cordons have now been lifted.’

London Fire Brigade said: “We’re dealing with a small fire in #Westfield shopping centre in #Stratford. Sprinklers have activated. We’ll update when we have more soon.”

Terrified shoppers took to social media claiming people were ‘running like crazy’ as they were evacuated.

One person said: “Just boarded an Overground train at Stratford and dozens of people came aboard running. Said something happened at the mall. Fire Brigade is here.”

Paul Taylor was at the scene and uploaded a video of the chaos to Twitter, before writing that reports of a gang armed with knives had created the panic.

Meanwhile another Twitter user claimed she heard a somebody shout ‘evacuate – fire alarm’ as others feared a bomb.
“Just witnessed the maddest lion king stampede at Stradford Westfield because of a bomb scare. I ran too fam,” wrote Aysah Spades.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police has since confirmed that an alarm was activated at about 5.15pm after a small fire was detected.

“At around 17:15hrs on Saturday, 11 November, a fire alarm was activated at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford,” they said.

“Police officers, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service attended the location.

“A small fire was identified and dealt with by London Fire Brigade.

“Police cordons were lifted at around 17:50hrs and the shopping centre re-opened.

“At this early stage, the incident is not believed to be suspicious. We will work with London Fire Brigade and the Westfield Shopping Centre to establish the cause of the fire.

“We are not aware of any serious injury.”









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