Train fire halts Channel Tunnel services

36 lorry drivers on board were evacuated after train was driven out of the tunnel

Dozens of truckers were taken to safety today after fire broke out on a lorry on a shuttle train in the Channel Tunnel.

The incident, which closed the tunnel to all trains from around 1.30pm UK time, happened as the shuttle train was about to emerge at the French end of the 30-mile long tunnel.

The fire triggered a smoke alarm, the train was driven out of the tunnel to emergency sidings and the 36 lorry drivers on board were evacuated to a place of safety.

French fire crews put the fire out and no-one was hurt.

Smoke in a section of tunnel was being dealt with by the tunnel's ventilation system.

In the meantime, neither Eurotunnel nor high-speed train company Eurostar, which operates from London to Paris and Brussels, have been able to operate any trains through the tunnel.

No through freight train services were able to go through either, with Eurotunnel saying it hoped that the tunnel would be open again by late afternoon.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said: "Our procedures worked perfectly. The fire was about 400 metres behind where the lorry drivers were on the train and all of them are all right.

"There is some smoke in the tunnel and we are using the tunnel's ventilation system to get rid of that before starting services again."

PA

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