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400 workers evacuated after fire at central London Berkeley site

Around 400 workers were evacuated after a fire on a major Berkeley Group building site near Tower Bridge in London yesterday.

London Fire Brigade said Tower Bridge Road was closed for an hour as a standard precaution because gas cylinders were involved in the fire.

The One Tower Bridge development in Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Road consists of 356 residential units, plus commercial and cultural space and is worth £20m, according to data service Glenigan.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters attended the blaze after being called out at 3.55pm. They had the fire under control by 6.36pm and reopened Tower Bridge shortly afterwards.

The fire brigade is investigating the cause of the fire.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said it is also making enquiries about the incident.

A spokesman for Berkeley Group said the site was open today with more than 400 workers on site, while the damage had been “minimal” and even the anticipated water damage had been slight.

He said the incident concerned an acetylene tank being used by workers from mechanical and electrical subcontractor Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil and nobody was injured.

He confirmed the fire brigade had set up an exclusion zone as part of normal procedures for fires involving acetylene cylinders.

He said: “We have given the HSE the opportunity to come down and visit.”

He added: “The response from the fire brigade was excellent and they were very complimentary about our logistics contractor O’Neill and Brennan.”

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