Train passengers had to be evacuated from three Liverpool stations due to a fire.

Smoke could be seen coming down the Wirral line at Liverpool Central, Moorfields and James Street and Merseyrail confirmed passengers were asked to leave all three stations for between five to 10 minutes in separate evacuations between 12.15pm and 12.45pm today.

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A Merseyrail spokeswoman said the cause of the smoke originated from a fire inside a ceramic pot at Liverpool Central.

The fire was contained to the pot. The pots are based underneath live rail lines and are used throughout the Merseyrail network.

Passengers told of seeing smoke pouring out of the tunnel and sparks from the track before alarms sounded on the Northern Rail platform.

Jason Mawdsley, who was waiting for a train to Orrell Park at the time, said: "I was standing on the platform when this smoke came down from the tunnel. It started thin and got thicker. There were about 50 people there, I could feel it on my chest and other people started coughing too.

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