Photo Credit: Snowscat
Hundreds Evacuated Through "Terrifying" Undersea Tunnel After France-UK Train Breakdown
The train travels through the Channel Tunnel, AKA “the Chunnel,” which runs under the English Channel between the UK and France. The 3:50 p.m. train was transporting people and several dogs Tuesday when it broke down.
In a Twitter post made Tuesday, Eurotunnel said, “A train has broken down in the tunnel and we are in the process of transferring customers to a separate passenger shuttle via the service tunnel, to return to our Folkestone terminal. We apologize sincerely for this inconvenience.”
In a Twitter post made Tuesday, Eurotunnel said, “A train has broken down in the tunnel and we are in the process of transferring customers to a separate passenger shuttle via the service tunnel, to return to our Folkestone terminal. We apologise sincerely for this inconvenience.”
Michael Harrison, a passenger on board the train, said about 10 minutes into the journey, the lights went off and the train came to a halt. He and the other passengers waited while the train company investigated an issue with the wheels.
“It took approximately one and a half hours for them to investigate and obviously not find anything. They reset things and set off for another five minutes,” said Harrison.
What happened next:
Then, the same thing happened again. But this time, Harrison and the other passengers were forced to wait for a couple of hours until finally, they were told they had to evacuate the train and board another train.
All of the passengers were evacuated and had to walk 10 minutes via an emergency tunnel to a service tunnel that took them to a different train. But the ordeal did not end there. The new train also began experiencing issues, causing what is usually a 35-minute trip to take more than six hours.
A terrifying experience:
Passenger Sarah Fellows described the trek through the tunnel as “terrifying.”
“It was like a disaster movie,” she told PA Media. “You were just walking into the abyss not knowing what was happening. We all had to stay under the sea in this big queue. There was a woman crying in the tunnel, another woman having a panic attack who was traveling alone.”
“They were expecting really older people to walk for a mile down the middle of a tunnel under the sea. I was panicking at one point and Border Force told us the tunnel had been evacuated one other time in the last 17 years, not recently.”
Other passengers complained of the temperature in the tunnel, saying it lacked air conditioning and was hot.