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Monday, October 3, 2022

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle: Troubled Passengers Trapped inside Tunnel For Hours

A Le Shuttle spokesperson said that the incident began with the sounding of the alarm bell as an indicator that a problem needed to be checked immediately but was eventually unresolved

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UNITED KINGDOM: Dozens of panic-stricken passengers were left stranded for hours inside the Channel Tunnel after a Eurotunnel le Shuttle train broke down on its journey from Calais to Folkestone at the Strait of Dover.

New distressing footage emerged showing distraught passengers being evacuated through an emergency service tunnel after being forced to abandon their vehicles in the chaos.

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They were finally taken to safety and transferred to a replacement train, which took them to the Folkestone terminal in Kent.

A Eurotunnel spokesperson notified that train services are now back to normal. Le Shuttle commented that Tuesday night’s incident began when the train’s alarms went off strangely. The alarm bell was an indicator that the problem needed to be checked immediately but ultimately went uncared for.

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

“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 assured.

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“We brought them to the passenger terminal building, where food and drinks were available, and then slowly brought out the original shuttle and reunited them with their vehicles,” he added.

One of the passengers on the train, Sarah Fellows, recalled the incident as “terrifying” and almost apocalyptic. “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.”

Another passenger, who requested to maintain anonymity, said that “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, spoke to BBC News and said that it took about six hours to travel from Calais to Folkestone.

At first, the staff racked their brains for over an hour to find the fault but ultimately got the train moving again only for it to “conk out” after five minutes.

He said that passengers had to walk nearly 10 to 15 minutes to another train.”Things were getting a bit fractious, a bit stressed. A few people were having minor panic attacks,” Harrison said.

Incidentally, the freight train used to take passengers to the terminal was also hit by problems with Harrison saying it did not have enough traction.

“By the third time we were all just thinking ‘what is going on,” he said, expressing a collective sense of anxiety.Rachel Thynne told BBC Radio Kent it was “getting hotter and hotter” while staff tried to identify the problem.

Ultimately, all those on board the train were transferred “in line with safety procedures and as a comfort measure“, Le Shuttle said.

A passenger contacted the BBC before 17:45 BST saying they were on the train which had stopped.They complained of poor communication and said the public address system did not work properly.

Four additional trains were deployed overnight from Calais to Folkestone to allow ease of movement and prevent a backlog from the incident.

The journey captures the longest underwater section of any tunnel in the world at a record 23.5 miles. The passengers would be given their due compensation for the inconvenience caused, Le Shuttle announced.

Also Read: London’s Tower Bridge Stuck Open Due To ‘Technical Failure’

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