The 123 passengers on the 7.20 pm car shuttle from Calais to Folkestone were evacuated after being stuck in the tunnel for 90 minutes 12 miles from the British end of the tunnel.
They were put on a shuttle train on the other line via the emergency tunnel that runs between the two main tunnels. Although a group of lorry drivers were evacuated last year, Tuesday's was the first large-scale evacuation since the tunnel started operating a year ago.
It took engineers several hours to free the brakes on the train and passengers were not reunited with their cars until 2am yesterday morning. A spokeswoman for Eurotunnel, which operates the tunnel and the shuttle service, said: "The evacuation went as planned, just like during the rehearsals."Reuse content