Oxford Circus fire

Oxford Circus Fire

Oxford Circus fire

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The Oxford Circus fire occurred on Friday 23 November 1984 at 9:50 p.m. at the London Underground Oxford Circus station. Oxford Circus station is in the heart of London's shopping district and is served by three deep-level tube lines; the Bakerloo Line, Central Line and Victoria Lines. The three lines are linked by a complex network of tunnels and cross-passages and come to a common booking hall situated beneath the junction of Oxford Street and Regent Street.

The fire started in a materials store at the south end of the northbound Victoria Line platform, which was being used by contractors working on the modernisation of the station. It gutted the northbound Victoria Line platform tunnel and the passages leading off it. The adjacent northbound Bakerloo Line platform suffered smoke damage, as did the escalator tunnel and the booking hall. Other areas of the station were undamaged. The probable cause of the fire was smoker's materials being pushed through a ventilation grille into the materials store. This ignited rags or paint thinner within the store.


Oxford Circus station was rapidly evacuated when the fire was discovered, and the fire brigade conducted a sweep of the station which confirmed that all passengers were clear. The fire alert disrupted the routes of ten trains on the three lines: passengers on six of the trains were evacuated at stations and passengers on four trains were escorted down the running tunnels to adjacent stations. The last...
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