Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock, Essex, was evacuated this afternoon following a large power cut, causing major tailbacks on the M25
Thousands of shoppers have been evacuated out of Lakeside shopping centre following a major power cut.
Shoppers were plunged into darkness this afternoon at the mall in West Thurrock, Essex.
In videos, shared on social media, huge crowds of people could be seen exiting the area – with even Santa spotted walking with his elves.
One person on Twitter urged people to avoid the shopping centre.
Tristan Jabez tweeted: “Avoid Essex #Lakeside widespread power cut. Long queues for exit and police presence.”
One unhappy shopper said the lights had switched off just after they’d ordered a chicken dinner.
Have you been caught up in the power cut? Email [email protected]
They were left unsure how to get the food or a refund.
“I’ve placed an order in Lakeside Shopping center branch,” they tweeted at KFC.
“Fire has been reported meanwhile and we are all evacuated and looks like we are not getting back inside anytime soon. How do I get the refund?”
UK Power Network’s website shows there have been two separate power incidents in and around the West Thurrock area, with more than 50 affected postcodes and 600 calls received.
Another person posted a video on Twitter showing staff escorting people out of the shopping centre with torches.
They wrote: “All power off at Lakeside Essex. We all had to evacuate.
“Hopefully just a power failure and nothing more serious.”
Essex Travel News also tweeted there are major delays on the M25 following the blackout and swell of traffic onto the motorway.
They wrote: “M25 Clockwise: Slow moving traffic between J30 (A13) and J31 (Lakeside).”
Many people were stuck in the car park for more than an hour due to the rush to leave the site.
Lakeside has been contacted for comment.