December 18, 2014
Passengers evacuated from Channel Tunnel after breakdown
Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from the Channel Tunnel today after a train broke down due to a problem with overhead wires, resulting in long delays on the crossing between Britain and France.
A spokesman for operator Eurotunnel said a problem with the overhead catenary, which supplies the power to trains, led to a vehicle shuttle becoming stuck at about 0630 GMT.
"We transferred customers through the service tunnel and onto an empty train," he said.
"We are in the process now of extracting the shuttle, and we will take it to France subsequently to reunite the customers with their vehicles."
The Channel Tunnel, a 50-km (30-mile) link between Folkestone in south east England and Coquelles in northern France, is used by shuttles carrying cars and lorries, and by Eurostar train services between London, Paris and Brussels.
Latest operational updates suggested that the tunnel would partially re-open at 0500 GMT on Tuesday. Until then, engineers would keep working to restore full power to affected sections of the tunnel, Eurostar said in a statement.
However, Eurotunnel was expecting further disruptions in services on Tuesday and was cancelling four Eurostar trains, which included two services from London, one from Brussels and another from Paris, the company added.
The breakdown forced Eurostar to cancel three services from London and two services from both Brussels and Paris. It had said that remaining services were suffering major delays.