Train Hit by 'Rugby Ball' Sized Debris at Shepherd's Bush Station

After Westfield contractor drilled hole in roof of Central line tunnel

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The Central Line between Marble Arch and White City was forced to close on Monday evening after chunks of masonry "as big as rugby balls" fell onto a tube train through a hole in the tunnel roof outside Shepherd's Bush Station.

Transport for London say that contractors building the £1billion extension to Westfield Shopping Centre breached the tunnel wall, which is around 100 metres below ground, according to its own figures.

A passenger on the westbound train hit by the debris has told the Evening Standard there were scenes of panic among tube passengers when the incident happened around 5.30pm.

City worker Lawrence Kenny, 27 said: " It was
really loud. Everyone was in complete shock. People were looking around in disbelief. Some people clearly thought we were under attack or there might have been a bomb.

" Some people came rushing into our carriage from the one in front trying to get away. We must have been showered with the debris for 30 seconds or so.  We tried to go into the next carriage along because we thought it might be safer when someone pulled the emergency alarm.

" The next thing we pulled into the station and everyone got off as quickly as they could."

He added: " You could see on top of the train it was just littered with rocks and debris. Some of the chunks were the size of rugby balls. People were looking around in shock and bewilderment."

Transport for London said it was possible to see into the tunnel from a building site above.

No damage was caused to trains or the track, but TfL said the risk that other debris might fall through the hole meant it had to be filled before trains could begin running again.

The damage was repaired and the line reopened around 9.30pm.

Operations director Peter McNaught apologised to passengers affected by the disruption and said: " We will be carrying out a full investigation into the cause of this issue alongside those involved."

The Central Line is running normally on Tuesday.


February 23, 2016