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Home   Folkestone   News   Article

Long delays as hundreds of Eurotunnel passengers evacuated after train breaks down in Channel Tunnel

07 July 2014
by KentOnline reporter
Eurotunnel passengers are facing long delays into this evening after almost 400 people were evacuated because of a power failure.
 
The firm said at 5pm there were still six-hour waits at the Kent terminal after a cable fell and became wrapped around a shuttle train in the Channel Tunnel.
 
As many as 382 passengers - and four dogs - spent almost two hours on the train and then took photographs as they were ushered along a service tunnel to a new service taking them to France this morning.
Eurotunnel passengers are evacuated after overhead power lines  are believed to have come down

Eurotunnel passengers are evacuated after a power failure

 
Passengers are warned to expect delays of several hours all day after the France-bound train lost its connection to an overhead power line at 7.30am.
 
The evacuated passengers were taken to Calais and were having to wait to be reunited with their cars.
 
Among those stranded in France was Dover businessman Brian Tait, who revealed how travel chaos on the Channel Tunnel affected his company.

He missed a meeting in Paris and, speaking at 2pm, had no idea when he would be able to get home.

Stranded passengers inside a Eurotunnel train. Picture Brian Tait

Stranded passengers inside a Eurotunnel train. Picture: Brian Tait

Mr Tait said: "It was about 9.30am before we got put into the joining tunnel and we were told then we would have to wait for another train to come.

"We're waiting for the car to come through and then we're expecting it to be total chaos because we'll have to find the car.

"And then we've got to work out a way back - I suspect we'll be coming back by boat."

Eurotunnel passengers are led to safety in the Channel Tunnel. Picture Brian Tait

Eurotunnel passengers are led to safety in the Channel Tunnel. Picture: Brian Tait

 
Eurotunnel trains were earlier delayed by around six hours, but this was reduced to around four hours by about midday as one line was left open in the tunnel. However, the delays again built into the afternoon.
 
Traffic was also queuing on the exit slip road of the M20-coastbound at J11a.
 
Eurostar services have also been affected, with passengers having to wait for up to one hour and 15 minutes at St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet and Ashford International.
Eurotunnel passengers have been enduring six-hour delays. Picture @Buystje

Eurotunnel passengers have been enduring six-hour delays. Picture: @Buystje

Eurotunnel warned the breakdown would have a knock-on effect of delays for the rest of today.

A spokesman said: "We would advise passengers who have not booked not to travel on the service today. This is going to cause delays throughout the day."

The train broke down about eight miles from the Kent coast into the 30-mile long tunnel.

The Port of Dover said it is looking to maximise capacity for extra traffic as Eurotunnel passengers seek alternative routes.

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