Dozens of passengers on a train traveling between France and England were trapped last night for five hours in the channel tunnel under the English Channel due to a fault.
Passengers on the Le Shuttle service – which carries vehicles – were forced to abandon their cars to be evacuated to through an emergency tunnel until they were taken on a replacement train which transported them to the terminus at Folkestone, in County Dover, in the south-east of England.
In the videos published on social networks, several tourists can be seen passing through the alternative emergency tunnel along the route of the railway. 50 kilometers between France and Great Britainsome with suitcases and even dogs.
“The emergency tunnel was terrifying” explained one of the trapped tourists, Sarah Fellows, 37, from Birmingham to the PA news agency. “It was like a disaster movie. We were walking towards the precipice, not knowing what was happening. We all had to stay under the sea in this big queue. There was a woman crying in the tunnel, another woman having a panic attack traveling alone,” she says.
Another passenger, who did not want to be identified, told the news agency that “a lot of people were scared to be in the service tunnel, which is a bit of a strange place… We stayed there for at least five hours“.
A spokesman for Eurotunnel, which operates the Le Shuttle service, said “a train has broken down in the tunnel” and passengers are being transferred to a separate passenger shuttle to return to Folkestone Terminal. Hours later, however, he explained to the BBC that the train had not actually broken down, but rather the alarms had gone off so you had to investigate what happened.
The service carries passengers and their vehicles between Folkestone and Calais. At 50 kilometers, it has the longest underwater section of any tunnel in the world.