Estimated reading time 2 minutes 2 Min

Eurotunnel passengers forced to leave train beneath English Channel

Passengers in the English Channel tunnel were forced to wait hours and walk through an alternative tunnel after a train failed.

August 24, 2022
By Ewan Somerville
24 August 2022

British train officials say services are back to normal after an incident stopped a train under the English Channel on Tuesday afternoon.

The service from Calais to Folkestone was stopped in the tunnel after an alarm sounded on board.

Passengers were transferred to a different train through a service tunnel.

Eurotunnel breakdown
Passengers were transferred to another train (Michael Harrison/Twitter/PA)

Eurotunnel said they were provided with food and drink as the original shuttle was brought out and they were eventually reunited with their vehicles, many of which were being carried onboard.

Passengers complained of long delays, with some suggesting they were stuck in the tunnels for more than five hours.

Videos on social media showed holidaymakers walking through the alternative tunnel alongside the 31-mile rail route between Britain and France, some with suitcases and dogs.

Travellers in Calais were told to stay away from the terminal until 6am on Wednesday, with pictures showing gridlock at the shuttle terminal late into Tuesday evening.

Eurotunnel has defended the time taken to resolve the incident, saying operations such as this "do take time" but are for the safety of everyone and "must be conducted carefully".

A spokesman said on Wednesday morning: "All services are back to normal, with no waiting for passengers on site.

"The incident followed an alarm on board a shuttle carrying 100 vehicles.

"The shuttle was brought to a controlled stop and inspected. As a precautionary measure, for their safety and comfort, we transferred the passengers on board to another shuttle, via the service tunnel (which is there for exactly that purpose).

The Eurotunnel site on the English side. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

"Whilst some passengers experienced a longer journey than planned, everyone was kept safe at all times.

"We apologise to anyone who got caught up in the incident, but we stress that we will always put customer safety above everything."

More in Top Stories