Westfield Shopping Centre has been evacuated, leaving hundreds of shoppers outside the building.

The busy centre, in White city, near to Shepherd's Bush train station, was evacuated at around 2pm on Friday (October 19).

Getwestlondon understands alarms began to sound in the centre, before an automated message told shoppers to evacuate immediatly.

One shopper said: "[I was] just inside having something to eat, alarms went off telling everyone to evacuate... been out here 20 mins now and nobody has told us anything."

Pictures posted on social media show hundreds of people standing outside the centre.

We'll be bringing you all the latest updates on this breaking incident. Follow our live blog below.

Westfield reveal why shopping centre was evacuated

Westfield have explained why the shopping centre was evacuated earlier this afternoon.

The shopping centre was evacuated as a “precaution” due to a smoke alarm in one of the bathrooms being set off.

A spokeswoman for Westfield said: “As a standard precautionary measure, an area of the centre was evacuated for a short period of time due to cigarette smoke in the bathroom which set off the fire alarm. The centre is fully open and trading. We’d like to thank all our visitors for their patience.”

Picture from the evacuation

This was the scene outside the shopping centre after everyone was told to get out. Everyone’s allowed in again now.

Crowds waiting outside Westfield
Crowds waiting outside Westfield (Image: @Jasonsardinha / Twitter)

Evacuation comes just days after incident at Westfield Stratford

The incident comes just two days after a man fell onto a woman from the second floor of Westfield Stratford.

The woman suffered life-changing injuries, while the man’s injuries were deemed non life-threatening.

The 24-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and reckless endangerment of life.

To read how the incident unfolded click here.

Westfield Stratford was partly closed off
Westfield Stratford was partly closed off (Image: @Moliblog / Twitter)

Shoppers being let back into centre

Shoppers are now being let back into the shopping centre following the evacuation.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “Just got let back in. Staff told us there was a fire in one of the toilets near Debenhams/HMV.”

Again, these details are unconfirmed.

Westfield Centre, Shepherd's Bush
Westfield Centre, Shepherd's Bush

'Small fire in a bin'

One social media user has said the evacuation took place because of a “small fire in a bin”, although this is yet to be confirmed by Westfield.

Twitter user @Jasonsardinha said: “So Westfield evacuated, was a small fire in a bin, Security guard saw a easily manageable fire but chose to shout fire and evacuate the shopping centre. I get the need for process but common sense is needed, it was the size of a waste paper basket.”

He added: “[It] honestly was a waste paper bin, this could have been all avoided, total lack of common sense.”

Westfield Shopping Centre, in White City
Westfield Shopping Centre, in White City

Mystery over evacuation

Getwestlondon has approached Westfield Shopping Centre to ask why the evacuation has taken place, but have not yet received a reply.

The centre’s reception team are also failing to answer the phone.

We will bring you updates as we get them.

Pictures: Hundreds standing outside shopping centre

Images sent to Getwestlondon show hundreds of shoppers standing outside the shopping centre.

One woman who was inside the centre at the time of the evacuation has said she is unsure why the evacuation has taken place.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “[I was] just inside having something to eat, alarms went off telling everyone to evacuate... been out here 20 mins now and nobody has told us anything.”

People stranded outside Westfield Shopping centre following the evacuation
People stranded outside Westfield Shopping centre following the evacuation (Image: Edd Vieira)

Where is the Westfield Shopping Centre?

The popular shopping centre is located on Ariel Way, in White City in West London. It is often referred to as Westfield Shepherd’s Bush.

What we know so far

Good afternoon and welcome to our live blog of this breaking incident.

Westfield Shopping Centre has been evacuated, with shoppers stranded outside since around 2pm.

The reason for the evacuation is not yet known.

We will bring you more details as we get them.

Hundreds of people seem to have been evacuated from Westfield Shopping Centre
Hundreds of people seem to have been evacuated from Westfield Shopping Centre (Image: Edd Vieira)