Stuck in the Channel Tunnel

Five Eurostar trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel due to the wrong type of cold weather, trapping 2,000 people, some of whom were stranded in the tunnel all night.

The trains were on their way from Brussels and Paris to London when, upon entering the warmer climate of the tunnel, the electrics failed and they ground to a halt.

Passengers had to put up with extreme heat in the tunnel as the air conditioning systems on the trains ceased to function. Many passengers were eventually transferred to car shuttle trains but some were stranded overnight.

Four of the trains have already been towed away but one remains in the tunnel and disruption to the rest of the weekend services is expected.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel described the situation as:

“absolutely extraordinary and unprecedented”

It was obviously inconceivable to the developers of the electrical systems for the trains that winter in northern Europe could actually be cold.

Accounts of the incident by passengers on the trains suggest that neither the company nor the staff were in anyway prepared for such an occurrence, information and assistance being less than minimal.

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