The lorry logjam created by the fire in the Channel Tunnel has begun to ease, after the link re-opened to freight traffic. Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze almost 20 hours after it started under the sea near the coast of France on Thursday. Freight services resumed just after midnight last night, and passenger trains were expected to re-start on Saturday morning.
Thousands of lorries were stacked up on motorways on both sides of the Channel, causing delays to deliveries and headaches for business. At least the truckers have some good news. Holiday-makers and foot passengers had to wait a little longer. About 40,000 people a day make the crossing, and they have had little idea when they can board the train.
The inferno in the southbound undersea tunnel saw temperatures reach about 1,000 degrees Celcius at the height of the blaze. The affected section may take weeks to repair, but the parallel northbound tunnel was not damaged, allowing trains to make the journey to and from France. Investigators blame overheating lorry brakes for the fire. They believe it was an accident, and not terrorism.