Eurotunnel chaos: Breakdown of train in Channel Tunnel sees operator call on all customers to 'postpone travelling today'

Huge delays expected following 'technical problem with an overhead power line'

A train has broken down midway through the Channel Tunnel, resulting in huge delays and a call on customers to "postpone" all unessential travel.

More than 300 passengers and four dogs had to be evacuated from the stricken train after it reported "a problem with the overhead power line".

They were transferred via service tunnels from the French-bound train to another in the remaining, unblocked tunnel, and have now reached the French terminal.

But the operator, Eurotunnel, said it was still expecting delays of up to six hours to services, possibly for the whole of the rest of the day.

The incident happened at around 7.30am today 7.5 miles into the 30-mile long tunnel.

"The evacuated passengers are now at the French terminal and are waiting for the affected train to arrive so they can get their cars," a Eurotunnel spokesman said.

Video: Passengers evacuated after breakdown

He went on: "We are advising people who don't need to travel today to travel on another day. There are queues building up and travellers should expect delays throughout the day."

Passenger Richard Byrom told BBC Radio Kent he and the other passengers were trapped for around four hours in total. He said: "All of a sudden I heard this crashing noise, it didn't sound like the train itself had crashed but what became evident later on was that the power cables had got entangled or come down."

He said that after 20 minutes they were taken off the train and had to wait for about half an hour for the service to take them on to France.

Eurotunnel's official Twitter profile repeated the request, saying: "Due to delays to passenger service following a technical problem with an overhead power line, we advise customers postpone travelling today."

Eurostar said it had already had to cancel four of its services Eurostar said it had already had to cancel four of its services And it said it had received "a high level of responses on Twitter" which it would be unable to reply to "directly".

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar said it had already had to cancel four services today and warned passengers to expect delays to ones that are able to run.

Eurostar told customers: "If travel today is non-essential you can exchange your ticket, free of charge, to another available service within the next four months."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Consultants - OTE up to £35,000

£15000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Franchise Operations Manager - Midlands or North West

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The position will be home based...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent publishing and...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue