Photos of a large fire in central London have popped up on the social networking website Twitter, beating many news organisations to the post.

Members of the public used their mobile phones to upload images of the fire which broke out in the capital this afternoon.

Reports suggest that the fire took place at the Immigration and Appeals Commission building in Chancery Lane, near Holborn.

Twitter has become a speedy way for eyewitness accounts of breaking news stories and pictures to be published.

In January, Janis Krums’ Twitter picture of a plane that crashed into the Hudson River in the United States was snapped up by media organisations worldwide within minutes of the incident.