A huge blaze which has broken out in Elephant and Castle in south London is believed to have started at some garages close to the train station, the London Fire Brigade has said.

A massive pillar of smoke following an ‘explosion’ can be seen from across the capital, according to My London.

A spokeswoman for London Fire Brigade said that the fire was first reported at 1.43pm on Monday and that 10 fire engines and 70 firefighters are at the scene.

Officers have taped off Walworth Road, leading up to the station’s entrance on Elephant Road.

Police at the scene told PA the smoke was coming from the train station rather than the tube station.

Smoke rises into the sky from a fire nearby the Elephant & Castle Rail Station
Smoke rises into the sky from a fire nearby the Elephant & Castle Rail Station

The LFB said the nearby train station has been closed.

In a tweet, London Fire Brigade said: “We have 10 fire engines & 70 firefighters attending & have taken nearly fifty 999 calls. Please avoid the area.”

Videos on social media show large plumes of smoke appearing to pour from Elephant and Castle station, with one clip showing a small explosion erupt from inside.

A My London journalist reports that she can hear lots of alarms going off and there’s a strong smell of burning plastic in the air.

A restaurant worker close to Elephant and Castle station said she was evacuated after the fire broke out.

Alex Leckie, 30, assistant manager at Tupi, said: “The entire building was evacuated, we began to smell smoke and the store owner went to check, we saw smoke billowing out and what I’m told is the mechanics were on fire, the smoke pillar started enveloping the apartment blocks as well and we kept hearing intermittent bangs.

“The police have indicated it could be some time (until they are allowed back inside). They have repeatedly pushed the crowds back even from the Castle Square Park and cordoned off the roads, there is a very, very heavy presence.

“At this point emergency crews have everyone well clear of the area.”

Sara Scarpa, 25, lives in nearby apartment building Hurlock Heights and said smoke and the noise of the explosion had reached her window.

“We opened the window for a sec as you could hear people shouting, and we smelt something very very strong,” she said.

“The smoke (was) dying down a little… we heard an explosion and now it started again.”

Thameslink said all lines through Elephant and Castle are currently blocked due to the fire.

Services between St Albans and Sutton and London Blackfriars and Sevenoaks are affected.

Thameslink said in a tweet: “You will have to use an alternative route to complete your journey and you should allow plenty of extra time to complete your journey.

“To help keep you on the move, you can use your ticket on: London buses between London Blackfriars, Denmark Hill and Loughborough Junction, London Underground and Southeastern trains between London Victoria, Peckham Rye, Nunhead and London Bridge to Sevenoaks.”