London – The Old Bailey reopened on Monday following emergency repairs after an electrical fire inside the high-security court building.
The Central Criminal Court was closed last week, disrupting dozens of trials, after a blaze broke out in a substation on Wednesday morning.
Black smoke billowed as the building’s power failed, evacuating 1,500 people and trapping two in lifts. Firefighters rushed to the scene.
Defendants were escorted by police to waiting prison vans. Among affected cases were the trial of two accused of manslaughter over their baby’s death.
The London Fire Brigade deemed the fire accidental and non-suspicious.
On Friday, Recorder of London Judge Mark Lucraft KC said the Old Bailey would reopen at noon Monday after power was restored.
Safety checks were needed before normal business could resume, he said.
The Old Bailey handles major criminal trials including murder and terror cases. It remains a high-value terror target after past attacks.
In 1973, an IRA car bomb caused extensive damage to the historic courthouse.
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