Londoners warned to stay inside after 'gunshots' heard

Reports of gunshots in London's Oxford St and Oxford Circus Tube station appear to have been a false alarm.

Police failed to find "any trace of suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties", after the shut down the station and warned residents to stay indoors.

"Armed and unarmed officers are on scene and dealing along with colleagues from British Transport Police," a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told local media earlier on Friday afternoon (UK time).

"If you are on Oxford St go into a building and stay inside until further direction. Avoid travelling to the Oxford Street area."

A reporter for The Independent said "panic" broke out when an announcement came over the PA system in the Tube.

"I just heard screams, someone shouted 'run," said Ryan Butcher. "I saw smoke...people started falling over in the streets."

The Tube station is now open again, and trains are stopping normally. Cordons have been lifted.

In September a bomb on the Tube exploded, hurting 20 people but killing no one.