back to article Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

Some of the UK's ISPs may want to rethink their routing schemes after a massive fire near Holborn tube station in London knocked out power and internet access across several regions of the capital. There are now around 70 firefighters at the #Holbornfire no reports of injuries and local offices have been evacuated pic.twitter …

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JDX
Gold badge

One of those newfangled telephones?

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Anonymous Coward

How can people log in to El Reg forums if their internet is down, eh?

Well they wouldn't know the story is happening to comment if they did not have another way to go online.

Ever hear of browsing using your phone? wifi?

good god these people don't ever think before commenting, and they are supposed to be techies?

hope you never work in my building

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How can people log in to El Reg forums if their internet is down, eh?

Or they were just joking.

Pretty sure nobody wants to work in your building if the requirement is to have a stick up ones bottom.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Windows

There goes the cloud, in the shape of belching smoke

Ever hear of browsing using your phone? wifi?

I hate to break it to you, but these systems actually use cabling to bring the data to whatever exchange point it needs to go to.

hope you never work in my building

Is that the one where unicorns magically radiate data to the destinations, powered by bionic carrots up their arses?

Go to bed, PHB!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: There goes the cloud, in the shape of belching smoke

probably didn't hurt as much as those carrots.

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Re: How can people log in to El Reg forums if their internet is down, eh?

"Ever heard of browsing using your phone? Wifi?"

Ah, the pseudo techie.

I suppose you think those technologies work through magic and done have wired backhaul over the very same wired infrastrucure.

Go back to your html 'coding', mate.

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Re: There goes the cloud, in the shape of belching smoke

Upvoted for the title alone.

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Re: work through magic

But, but, but, but

[loud waily type voice] IBM said HAVE pixie dust in their commercials! [/end waily type voice]

<<sob>> <<sob>> <<sob>>

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Re: There goes the cloud, in the shape of belching smoke

Is that the one where unicorns magically radiate data to the destinations, powered by bionic carrots up their arses?

There's an oatmeal comic right there!

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Home ADSL OK in NW6

And Three mobile data is running at 0.2mbps instead of 0.1, must be using the spare bandwidth lol

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Home ADSL OK in NW6

Net access fine in south Devon too. Must be a pretty localised issue.

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Re: Home ADSL OK in NW6

No problems here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia either, so it does not appear to be affecting the entire planet.

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Re: Home ADSL OK in NW6

Fine in HK too, so yeah, pretty localised.

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Anonymous Coward

O2

O2 have lost a bunch of cells in the area.

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Happy

Re: O2

Brain cells?

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Re: O2

"Brain cells?"

Don't be silly. They never had that many to start with!

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We just went home...

We lost the fibre (and SIP trunks) to begin with. The power went sometime later.

We've already been warned that the fibre is likely to be down over 24 hours, so if we do have power in the morning then I get to finish off reconfiguring the firewall to use the old ADSL set up. If not then it's VPN direct to the data centre for our key people and I can kiss goodbye to taking next week off.

Joy...

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Anonymous Coward

Life is just not fair is it!

No problem here in rural, isolated Cornwall. We always miss out on the interesting stuff

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Re: Life is just not fair is it!

Last time I was in Cornwall the only way I could get a mobile signal (in the area where we were staying) was to stand a yard or two in the sea at low tide with my arm in the air.... which suited me perfectly for a holiday.

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Anonymous Coward

Power circuits are currently be reconnected to bloody huge generators. Looks like this could be a long outage.

From UKPN:

Update at 19:13 - Our engineers are continuing to work with emergency services to tackle a fire in a tunnel in the Kingsway area. At this stage our plan will be to restore the majority of customers by using several large generators. However due to the severity of the fire and the developing situation it is unlikely that power will be restored tonight. We apologise for the impact this will have, we'll work to restore power as quickly as is safely possible.

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Oh shit........presumably its cables in the WWII Chancery lane Citadel - which for a while held the Kingsway phone exchange. There are miles of tunnels down there. Putting it out is going to be really difficult - theres (apparently) now only one access and simply just reaching the underground tunnels is going to be hard.

Theres a risk the fire could leak through into the tube as well if it can break through the sealed passageways.

Potentially this is a nightmare for the fire crews which could run for days

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I'm not sure if this is true or if this is a very late April Fool's joke...

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details of the citadel are at

http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/k/kingsway/

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Anonymous Coward

The former Kingsway exchange isn't near the road of the same name, it was apparently named deliberately to sow some seeds of confusion during wartime. The tunnel network doesn't carry power cables.

There is however a tunnel under Kingsway that does carry power cables - the old Kingsway tramway tunnel. Lots of work going on in there for Crossrail too.

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from what I've seen of the various films / photos the fire looks too far north to be in the tram tunnel?

There once was a plan for a Crossrail route which used both the tram tunnel and the Chancellory Lane shelter tubes - it would have been an interesting bit of tunneling to join the two. 90% bend and 100 feet difference in depth to negotiate in around half a mile, constrained by the buildings along the route

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Anonymous Coward

The tram tunnel extends up to Southampton Row and then runs all the way under Kingsway.

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No problem

Everything fine up here in the grim north.

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Happy

No Problem

Everything fine in the grey area between the grim north and the effluent south.

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Thumb Up

Re: No Problem

Not sure if deliberate or accidental, but I gave you a thumbsup for "effluent South".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Problem

shurely you mean "Affluent" south - Ed (:

Pmsl

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Re: No Problem

I think you've just pointed out that AC is in actual fact Alex Salmond.

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Anonymous Coward

Just seen this on BBC news ... interview with distraught women wondering how she was expected to cope with the situation as she had no internet!

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newsreader interviewing their own producer, by any chance?

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Probably had a truck load of cat pics to upload to Farcbook.

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Probably interviewed the cleaner again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAvHnfJsOQ

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checking online maps, the fire was apparently first reported at the "Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber" in 15-25 Breams Buildings - which backs onto Took Street, site of one of the citadel access shafts (now capped over). Fire fighting in closed tunnels - not good. It took days to put out the similar underground Guardian exchange / citadel fire in Manchester ten years ago

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Pictures on the BBC website show emergency services folk congregating by the entrance to the Kingsway tram subway. Isn't it more likely that a fire is in there?

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Flame

Re: It took days to put out the similar underground

On the bright side, that's much better than the Centralia, PA fire. That one started in 1962 and they think it might last another 250 years.

But seriously, I hope everyone is okay. I know these are the kinds of fires where despite the best training and efforts some of the front line guys always seem to get injured.

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Maybe some fire-doors and suppression systems would have been in order

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The problem there is that having the systems is not enough. You have to have people that know what they are doing to maintain and test those fire doors and suppression systems. BTW, it's handy having them available when a "situation" arises.

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Fire door in a tunnel works well... except the cutouts for the cable to pass through.

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Mushroom

I work for a power utility in the US (37 years and counting). We ran a lot of fiber in unused power and gas lines in urban areas. Early one morning the substation operators were busy re-energizing some manholes after a fiber-pulling session.

We had a phase-to-phase fault (34 KV, IIRC). A 36" manhole cover was blown into the 4th floor windows of one of the local banks. No one was hurt, but the fireball and falling debris tore up a few cars. And there were more than a few broken windows (and dirty shorts).

That certainly broke the monotony.

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Anonymous Coward

That certainly broke the monotony.

That's an almost British understatement :)

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That's one of the things that put me off working in telcomms for a power company. And seeing a report from a field engineer cancelling a request for a TDR team to shoot a fibre fault. He didn't need it, he could see the cable ends in the crater. Oil-filled HV cable had a bad day and made quite a bang.

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Devil

I told you, I told you all

The Internet is the devil's work!!!!

See; flames from below!!!

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