Frustrated passengers stranded at King’s Cross after a power outage on Friday have branded the lack of help during the shutdown as “astonishing”.

Large crowds of families with children, elderly people and others with disabilities were among those left waiting hours for information after all services in and out were cancelled.

The situation was labelled “absolute mayhem” and at 9pm it remained unclear when, or if, trains would resume after problems began with a power cut around four hours earlier.

Many passengers were sat or lying down in the station concourse surrounded by bags and luggage, while others crowded outside.

Main entrances were sealed off and closely watched by staff, but other doors at the opposite side of the station remained open.

Police officers were unable to say when services would resume and information boards inside only said services were “subject to severe delays and short-notice cancellations”.

More than 1,000 passengers appeared to be stranded at the station, which serves the East Coast Main Line and Scotland.

A pre-recorded message was played over the loudspeakers at regular intervals but only relayed the same message shown on the information boards.

London North Eastern Railway advised passengers against all travel, saying tickets would be valid on Saturday.

People waiting inside King's Cross station
People waiting inside King’s Cross station (Lewis Pennock/PA)

Zoe Hebblethwaite, 23, a legal secretary from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, said: “Outside King’s Cross station is absolute mayhem, nobody knows anything, nobody can find an assistant to speak to at this point.

“No commuters are allowed in… There is so much confusion.”

A 48-year-old civil servant, who gave his name as Simon, said he arrived at the station with his son, five, to find their 8.33pm service to Wakefield was cancelled.

“At the moment, they have a standard announcement going saying, ‘We’re suffering delays’,” he said.

“Delays is one thing, but there isn’t a single train leaving.

“Nobody is saying what’s going on. There isn’t a single train moving in or out and the police haven’t a clue what’s going on.

“We have no idea what to do.”

People waiting inside King's Cross station
People waiting inside King’s Cross station (Lewis Pennock/PA)

Teacher Nicola Stephenson and her partner Gareth Edwards, both 56, said they were searching for a hotel after their 9pm train to Peterborough was cancelled.

“All you hear is this announcement that everybody can hear,” said Mr Edwards, a social worker.

Andrew Comish, 57, an engineer, said he arrived at the station after flying into Gatwick from Italy, where he was on a work trip.

He said the situation is the worst he has seen at a train station.

Mr Comish said he planned to stay in a hotel and there was no information “whatsoever” on when trains would resume.

A man travelling with his two young children, who refused to be named, added: “It’s astonishing. We’ve been told nothing, we don’t know what to do.

“Do we stay and wait or find somewhere to stay? And how much will that cost?”

Passengers travelling into the station also expressed frustration after they were rerouted.

Jocelyn White said she was trying to get home to the Isle of Wight but her train was forced to stop early at Peterborough.

“I’m just (going to) go back home to Lincoln and try again tomorrow,” the graduate told PA.

British Transport Police also issued a tweet warning passengers against leaving trains “not at stations”.