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Channel Tunnel explosion: Train services halted for 2 hours

Written on:November 30, 2023
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Channel tunnel was closed for 2 hours when a car exploded on a freight train

All Channel Tunnel train services came to a standstill for two hours on Thursday due to an explosion which occurred when a car burst into flames on a lorry shuttle train, which led to the emergency evacuation of passengers on the train.

The incident, which led to the closure of the English Channel tunnel to all trains from around 1.30pm UK time, happened as the shuttle train was about to emerge at the French end of the 30-mile long Channel tunnel. The fire triggered a smoke alarm, the train was driven out of the tunnel to emergency sidings and the 36 lorry drivers on board were evacuated to a place of safety.

The fire was put out within 30 minutes and the incident did not leave any casualties. Eurotunnel said on its website that a “technical fault” meant a temporary suspension of its Folkestone-Calais shuttles. Eurostar train services between London and Paris and Brussels were also unable to pass through the Channel tunnel, with no through-freight trains running either.

Around 14 trains were subjected to delays, causing inconvenience to passengers, as the disruptions came at busy hours in early evening when many people make journeys home after a day trip across the channel.

The Eurotunnel spokesman said, “These things are always a little bit complicated because when you take trains out of service for two hours, they end up in the wrong place to where the passengers want to get on them. So the first thing we do is put all the trains back into the right place in order to start carrying the passengers in the right direction. It will probably take a few hours until we’re back to normal running because we’ll have two hours worth of traffic built up.”

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