Passengers stuck for hours inside Channel Tunnel

Dozens of people were left stranded for hours inside the Channel Tunnel after a train from Calais to Folkestone appeared to have broken down.

Footage emerged showing Eurotunnel Le Shuttle passengers being evacuated through an emergency service tunnel after having to abandon their vehicle.

They were eventually transferred to a replacement train and taken to the Folkestone terminal in Kent.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said services were now back to normal.

Le Shuttle said Tuesday night’s incident began when the train’s alarms went off and this needed to be investigated.

A spokesman said such incidents were unusual but not exceptional – far more common on trains carrying lorries than those with private cars.

“The Shuttle was brought to a controlled stop and inspected. As a precautionary measure, for their safety and comfort, we transferred the passengers on board to another shuttle, via the service tunnel (which is there for exactly that purpose),” the spokesman said.

“We brought them to the passenger terminal building where food and drinks were available.”

He added that the original train was then “slowly brought out” of the tunnel and the passengers had their vehicle returned to them in Folkestone.

Sarah Fellows, 37, from Birmingham, told the PA news agency she found the service tunnel “terrifying”.

She added: “It was like a disaster movie. You were just walking into the abyss 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 who was travelling alone.”

Another passenger, who did not want to be named, said: “Several people were freaking out about being down in the service tunnel, it’s a bit of a weird place… We were stuck down there for at least five hours.”

Mike Harrison, from Cranbrook in Kent, told BBC News it took about six hours to travel from Calais to Folkestone.

He said staff spent over an hour trying to find the fault on the train after it had broken down initially before they got it moving again only for it to “conk out” after five minutes. Passengers had to walk 10 to 15 minutes to another train, he said. -BBC

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