Kings Cross Fire - 30 years on

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King's Cross fire: 'I was screaming in pain' - BBC News

30 years ago this weekend is the Anniversary of London's worst tube disaster.

31 people died following a fire in an escalator.

I travelled through this station regularly at the time and had colleagues who used it daily.

On the night in question I was working late, finished at 7.30 and headed for the Piccailly line to bring me into London before going out into East London, train got to Caledonian Road and stopped for 10 minutes before driver announcing not stopping at Kings Cross.
Changing at Kings Cross was an alternate rather than primary change as normally changed at Holborn.

Got home and house mates asked me did I hear of the fire. Called home and told them wasn't in it, one of the few occasions they hadn't been looking at the news...... so hadn't started to worry as all parents do when something happens in a big city where their kids are.

Work colleagues used this daily and can definitely think of 4, all worked late on that day in question and often a line manager would let 3 leave at 7.15 to at least allow them get a train out of St Pancras just that little bit earlier. On the day in question they had been let go early but one struggled opening a locker and other stuff so the other two complained they had missed the train. They got out eventually ar Russel Sq and walked back to see smoke pouring out of tube.

I remember next day at work being deadly quiet in canteen, people spoke in hushed tones as everybody used the station at one time or another and people still unaware of whether they had known anybody who died.

Cause of fire was ultimately out down to a discarded match on an escalator that hadn't been cleaned in decades. The fact that it happened at 7.30pm rather than 7.30am meant the death toll was tiny v what it could have been at a different time.
 


Catalpast

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Used it frequently back in the 70s

IIRC its the most central hub on the Tube lines

Yes I thought there but for the grace of God go I....
 

LadyLou

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Remember it well. Shocking that there were wooden escalators at the time.
 
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Used it frequently back in the 70s

IIRC its the most central hub on the Tube lines

Yes I thought there but for the grace of God go I....
That I think was the view of many.

Line manager at the time was engaged to a girlie who would ultimately become his wife, she refused to travel on tube well before this and never in the years since sought to change it.
 
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Remember it well. Shocking that there were wooden escalators at the time.
I wouldn't have been as there were still parts of the tube with carraiges from just after post war, in addition it was only in late 70's that some bomb sites in London from WW2 were finally deveoped.
 

Fritzbox

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Remember it well. Shocking that there were wooden escalators at the time.
Nothing wrong with using wood as a material in escalators. There are whole buildings constructed out of wood, and their furniture too, and nobody bats an eyelid.
 

Wascurito

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The Pet Shop Boys released this song as one of the tracks on their album Actually to months before the fire. Some of the words were eerily prophetic. I don't think they ever released it as a single although - in my humble opinion - it's their best song of all.

"Only last night I found myself lost
By the station called King's Cross
Dead and wounded on either side
You know it's only a matter of time
"

[video=youtube;9fv8YiZXlOQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fv8YiZXlOQ[/video]
 


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