London firefighters evacuate area near Strand for gas leak

Firefighters have closed Charing Cross railway station in central London and evacuated the surrounding area after the discovery of a natural gas leak.

Authorities asked people to stay away from the Strand area, near Trafalgar Square, after some 1,450 people were evacuated from hotels and businesses early Tuesday. The Metropolitan Police Service says the disruption is expected to last "some time," and roads in the area remain closed.

The fire brigade says the disruption was caused by "high levels of natural gas coming off of a ruptured gas main in Craven Street."

It is the second time in recent weeks that a gas leak has caused disruption in central London. Another incident took place in Westminster on Jan. 9.