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Passengers trapped for hours inside Channel Tunnel

Migrants are escorted into Dover harbour, after being rescued while attempting to cross the English Channel, in Dover, Britain, August 24, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

On Tuesday, operators of the Eurotunnel said they had to evacuate hundreds of people from a train traveling between Britain and France over the Channel.

About 400 people were forced to abandon their vehicles on Tuesday, according to Getlink, the company that operates the rail link between Coquelles in northern France and Folkestone in southeast England.

Due to an alarm, hundreds of passengers had to evacuate the train and seek shelter in the adjacent concrete service tunnel, which is usually reserved for the use of maintenance personnel.

Sarah Fellows, a 37-year-old passenger, described the ordeal as “terrifying.” One woman was sobbing and another was having a panic attack on their own in the tunnel. According to Michael Kent, another passenger, the train was full for several hours while employees tried to figure out what was wrong.

After over five hours in the tunnel, passengers stated they were put on a substitute train. The incident caused a delay of up to six hours for trains departing France after 3:50 pm on Tuesday when the train was scheduled to leave Calais. John Keefe, of operators Getlink, stated that passengers were transported to Folkestone and allowed to re-board their vehicles once the first shuttle had been carried out.

He remarked that “operations like this do take time,” but that they were necessary for everyone’s safety and required cautious execution.

Around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, “everyone who was caught up in the event had been taken through, diversions removed, and we are now back to normal services,” he said. The submerged segment is the longest in the world at 38 kilometers.

The almost 800-meter-long shuttle trains have transported over 80 million automobiles since opening.

To mitigate the impact of statewide rail strikes in Britain, Eurotunnel decreased the number of trains through the Channel Tunnel last month, even though its employees did not take part in the protest.

Mahnur Mehfooz
Written By

Mahnur is MS(development Studies)Student at NUST University, completed BS Hons in Eng Literature. Content Writer, Policy analyst, Climate Change specialist, Teacher, HR Recruiter.

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