Transport for London has announced that a privately owned e-scooter was removed from an Underground train at Parsons Green at around 19:50 on Monday 1 November. The scooter’s battery reportedly caught fire while being carried on the train. It was removed to the platform of Parsons Green station where it continued to burn.
Services were delayed for eight minutes before running normally again. One customer complained of smoke inhalation but otherwise there were no injuries reported.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We completely understand how worrying it was for our customers and staff when an e-scooter caught alight on a train. Emergency services attended Parsons Green station and the e-scooter was removed at the first opportunity.
“While incidents like this are very rare, we take safety on the network extremely seriously and are undertaking a full review, which includes liaising with the London Fire Brigade.
“It is forbidden to ride e-scooters at stations or on trains, and failure to comply with this by-law is a criminal offence. E-scooters may currently be carried but must be folded for the entirety of the journey.”
Rail trade union TSSA reported that passengers were forced to abandon the train due to the fire and smoke inhalation. Some were seen coughing on the platform as smoke billowed from several rear carriages, while a fire extinguisher was located.
This follows an earlier incident that occurred around 23:35 on 26 October at Stanmore during which London Fire Brigade attended a station fire in staff accommodation, following ignition of an e-scooter lithium battery being held in lost property.
TSSA organising director Lorraine Ward said: “Without doubt the incident at Parsons Green raises very serious concerns. It’s becoming all too clear that e-scooters pose a significant threat to the traveling public, our members and all workers at TfL.
“There should be an immediate halt to transporting them on all TfL services until more research into these batteries has been carried out.
“I’m therefore urging TfL to fully enforce the already existing ban on the use of e-scooters. Indeed, a further ban across the wider travel network should be considered by the Secretary of State for Transport.
“What happened at Parsons Green and recently at Stanmore must be properly investigated as soon as possible. Safety on our transport network will always be our union’s number one priority, there can be no compromises on that.”