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London Tube chiefs rap “scaremongering” Bob Crow over Euston fire alert

 

A spat has broken out between London Underground bosses and Tube union chiefs, straining already troubled relations between the two sides.

 

Each has denounced the other, with a minor incident more than a week ago at Euston underground station at the heart of the falling out.

 

Bob Crow, secretary of Rail, Maritine and Transport Union, launched a thinly veiled attack as part of continuing talks about staffing levels on the Tube network.

 

Staff directed passengers during a fire alert at around midnight on July 12, after reports of smoke coming in from the mainline concourse. Investigations revealed no fire and nobody was hurt.

 

“Almost exactly a year on from last year’s fire in an escalator machine room, Euston station has had yet another reminder of the constant risks to safety and the need for staff on the Underground,” said Mr Crow.

 

“This is a wake-up call for Boris Johnson and Transport for London just a year away from the Olympics

 

“With the ever-present risk, and the problem of unreliable detection and evacuation equipment, the only thing that stands between safety and a major catastrophe is the presence of staff.

 

“RMT will continue to defend safe “section 12” staffing numbers, and to fight for more staff, to reflect the real numbers needed in a real-life evacuation as passenger numbers continue to rise and we begin the countdown to the London Olympics.

 

Transport for London has hit back at those claims, accusing the RMT for using the incident to make cheap capital for personal benefit.

 

“On the day that London had marked with excitement as a year to go until the start of the Olympic Games, the RMT leadership have chosen to pointlessly scaremonger, despite knowing full well that there are no plans to reduce station staff at Euston or elsewhere,” said a TfL spokeswoman.

 

“When a fire alarm alert was raised at Euston station at 00.18 on Tuesday 12 July, the station was, as always, well-staffed and passengers were evacuated immediately and safely. Some smoke was found to be coming in from the main line concourse, but after an extensive search of the area the Fire Brigade gave the all clear at 1:36am.

 

“The use of staff communicating on the ground is standard practice to ensure that passengers, including tourists whose first language may not be English, the elderly and those who may be hard of hearing have understood the direction being given to evacuate the station.”

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