London’s burning… well it could have been
When a huge plume of black smoke appeared in the sky over the City of London just before midday today, everyone scrambled. Some sought vantage points affording a view of the city and its landmarks while others moved towards the source of the smoke.
Rumours abounded – Canary Wharf was burning; a plane had pancaked at City airport.
The reality was much less dramatic, an unoccupied warehouse on the Olympic development site in Stratford, east London was on fire, there were no casualties and the blaze was quickly brought under control by emergency services.
As far as John Voos was concerned when he shot these images from our office roof of the pall of smoke over St Paul’s cathedral, he was covering a full scale emergency. False alarm it may have been but his pictures nevertheless evoke memories of Herbert Mason’s famous image of the great Wren cathedral glimpsed intact through the smoke and ruins of Blitz-shattered London.
Fortunately it was a non-event but it could all too well have been otherwise. It certainly got the adrenaline flowing on a chilly November morning and it did make lovely pictures.