More than 50 people were evacuated from St Paul’s Cathedral this afternoon following a gas leak.
A further 200 people were made to clear out of surrounding buildings after a gas main was found to be filling the basement of a restaurant and office block on St Paul’s Churchyard.
Two engines and two rescue units from the London Fire Brigade crews rushed to the scene.
A cordon was set up, Thameslink trains were made to skip stopping at City Thameslink station and Underground station St Paul’s was rendered out of action.
At 3pm a spokesperson for the cathedral said: “St Paul’s Cathedral was evacuated along with a number of neighbouring buildings due to a suspected gas leak nearby.
“The Cathedral will remain closed for sightseeing and services for the remainder of today.
“Ticket holders are welcome to get in touch to rearrange their tickets for a later date.”
Roads including Ludgate Hill from Ludgate Circus, New Change, New Bailey, Warwick Lane from Newgate Street, Paternoster Square and Carter Lane were closed.
Keir Baker, who works for law firm Morgan Lewis, told Mail Online: “We’ve had to evacuate our offices. The entirety of the square around the cathedral is cordoned off by police.
“I’ve had to leave my laptop behind. I think it’s 50/50 on whether this’ll be seen as a good excuse for missing today’s deadlines.”
A further 150 people were evacuated following a second leak a short while later on Regent Street.
Gas leaked into the basement of a property roughly two miles from St Paul’s.
Two fire engines and two fire rescue units rushed to the scene and a cordon was erected.
The London Fire Brigade said of the earlier leak: “Firefighters have been called to reports of a gas leak at a restaurant and office block on St Paul’s Churchyard. A gas main is leaking into a basement.
“Around 50 people have been evacuated from St Paul’s Cathedral and around 200 people have been evacuated from commercial premises in the area.
“A 25-metre cordon is in place as a precaution. The Brigade was called at 1.20pm.
“Two fire engines, two fire rescue units and support vehicles are at the scene.”