A train has been evacuated at South Croydon station after a carriage caught fire.

Around 100 passengers were forced to flee the Gatwick Express after it pulled into the station with flames on board.

The train was safely evacuated and there were no casualties, but services running through the station are suffering severe delays and cancellations.

London Fire Brigade said it received reports of a fire on board the London Victoria to Gatwick Airport train at around 9.21am.

It sent four engines - one from Woodside station, two from Croydon and one from Purley - and the fire was extinguished by 10.05am.

Passengers described a scene of "panic" as the train pulled into the station.

Lee Herdman, 38, had been waiting on the platform to catch a train to work. He said: "At the time it was panic stations.

"Staff were running around trying to get everyone off the train and the firemen and police were arriving."

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Smoke billowing from the train this morning

Adrian Burkinshaw, who was also waiting on the platform when the train arrived, said: "When I noticed it I thought it was unusual to see a Gatwick Express train at the station as they normally pass through at high speed.

"There was a whooshing noise and a large plume of smoke came out from the train. It was coming from underneath the carriage.

"People moved to either end of the platform away from what the announcements on the tannoy described as 'toxic smoke' – it was only when the fire brigade arrived that we were evacuated from the station."

London Ambulance Service said it sent a hazardous response team, an ambulance crew and duty manager to the scene but did not need to treat any patients.

Trains from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport are running with delays of up to 45 minutes. 

No trains are currently calling at South Croydon station.

Were you on the train that caught fire or at South Croydon station when it pulled in? Call the newsdesk on 0208 722 6351 or email chris.baynes@london.newsquest.co.uk


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Emergency services outside South Croydon station this morning (photo: David White)