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France

Eurostar shuts down for a day after tunnel fire

media An idle high speed Eurostar train is seen at the Paris Gare du Nord train station after the suspension rail traffic due to smoke coming out of the Channel tunnel REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The Channel is back in service after a lorry fire forced suspension of all trains between France and Britain.

 

Services were back on track early Sunday morning, after all Eurostar trains en route returned back to their original stations due to large amounts of smoke in the tunnel on Saturday afternoon.

According to the English police, the lorry fire took place on the French end of the tunnel, and is being dealt with by French authorities.

The change led to confusion and frustration in Britain and France, with London’s St Pancras station reporting long queues for refunds.

According to Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s chief executive, “several thousand” customers were forced to rearrange their travel plans, either waiting for the trains to resume, or travelling by ferry.

There were no injuries, and 42 people were evacuated from the truck shuttle which had been using the service tunnel, where the fire took place.

Approximately 1.5 million lorries and 400 trains pass through the tunnel daily.

Four years ago, a similar fire caused serious damage to the heavily used tunnel, causing traffic problems for 30 hours.

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