A small fire at a popular London shopping centre this afternoon sparked a ‘stampede’ as panicked shoppers were evacuated.
Emergency services were called to Westfield in Stratford, east London, at around 5.15pm following reports of ‘smoke’ on the second floor.
Some shoppers reported hearing ‘loud bangs’ as they were asked to leave.
Metropolitan Police confirmed the incident was a ‘small fire’.
It is not yet known if anyone was injured.
London Fire Brigade confirmed that there was a fire and ‘sprinklers were activated’.
Speaking on Twitter, one person said: ‘Holy crap. Just boarded an Overground train at Stratford and dozens of people came aboard running. Said something happened at the mall. Fire Brigade is here.’
Another said: ‘I’m at Stratford Westfield. I heard a boom (not sure what exactly). And people were running away like crazy.
‘Some shops have their alarm on so they’re closing down. I can hear police and ambulance. Hopefully it was just a scare.’
Janez Feasey added: ‘Westfield Stratford City evacuated as shoppers are seen running and screaming. Emergency services on scene.’
Speaking in the aftermath said: ‘There’s food all over the floor, escalators turned off, a shop door had been completely shattered.
‘There’s smashed bottles of wine across the station floor.’
Westfield Stratford has since reopened.