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Flooding of Charing Cross almost ‘ended in disaster’

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Rail union RMT have demanded an ‘urgent review of safety procedures’ after an internal report into the flooding of Charing Cross tube station two weeks ago.

Water from the fountains in Trafalgar Square overflowed into the underground station, almost ending in ‘disaster.’

On the morning of 24th March, a pipe feeding the Trafalgar Square fountains was severed by contractors and 375,000 litres of water flooded the pump room and power substation.

The RMT say that LU activated their ‘Silver Control’ procedure, overseen by Chief Operating Officer Howard Collins, shutting down services and began to pump out the water.

Throughout the incident log it was ‘clear that there was pressure to get the service back on as soon as possible.’

A decision to turn the current back on after 4.30pm was halted when it was realised that there were still staff on the track at Embankment. This lack of ‘command and control could have led to disaster.’

In their conclusions, LU admitted that Charing Cross should have remained closed to ‘all traffic’ and that the movements of their staff should have been monitored.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow is “demanding urgent assurances that the kind of shambolic management that happened here should never be allowed to happen again.”

He says the union fear that “the combined pressure to keep services moving at all costs, tied in with the Mayor’s £7.6 bn of cuts will make matters even worse.”


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