The Channel Tunnel is to remain closed for at least another 24 hours following a major fire on a freight train. It was hoped services might have been able to resume today, but a spokesman for Eurotunnel said that “circumstances had developed” making that impossible. Thousands of people remain stranded on each side of the channel.
A total of 14 people were hurt after the lorry caught fire on the freight train, 11 km from the French side. Two other trucks were quickly engulfed by the flames. Another lorry on the same train was carrying phenol, a flamable and toxic acid. Questions are being raised as to why that was allowed.
The fire was still burning overnight, but under control. Temperatures inside the tunnel shaft are said to have reached 1000 degrees celsius.
Eurotunnel is not sure if it will be able to reopen this weekend either.
It has asked passengers not to turn up for travel.
After another fire 12 years ago traffic through the tunnel was disrupted for a month, and all freight services were suspended for seven months.