The early evening of 18th November 1987. The height of rush hour for thousands of commuters and tourists travelling through London. a fire broke out and ripped through the station concourse, having taken hold in an escalator plant room.
31 people lost their lives that evening, including one of the firefighters who battled to save them, Station Officer Colin Townsley who had entered the station with colleagues to assess the situation. 100 were left injured by the fire and many many more left traumatised.
This weekend and the coming few days will see numerous news reports and retrospectives looking back and highlighting some of the lessons that could have, should have been learnt from this tragic and horrific event.
Who would have imagined that 30 years on, no more than a few miles across London, another huge fire would break out and cause enormous loss of life once again.
As a direct result of the fire and loss of life that evening in 1987 and following a public enquiry, important changes were made in fire precautions especially on the underground. Wooden escalators were removed and underground staff were trained in recognising what they should do in the event of fire.
Members of the fire brigade, emergency services, victims families and others affected by the blaze will attend a special service on Saturday 18th November 2017 – 30 years on.