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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 April, 2004, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Tunnel drill auction bids blocked
Tunnel Boring Machine B6
The drill currently sits at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone
Bids of up to 10m for the huge boring machine used in the building of the Channel Tunnel have been cancelled by the online auction site, ebay.

The highest bid for the 580-tonne drill stood at 35,107 on Sunday morning.

But eBay said its system used to prevent hoax bids had been put into operation for the auction, which is raising money for three charities.

Bidding for the drill, known as B6, has now been restricted to pre-approved bidders and buyers.

Unfortunately from time to time people do place hoax bids on items on eBay
eBay spokesperson

The auction for the drill started on 2 April but sellers Eurotunnel received no bids during the first two days.

But by the end of Monday, the third day of the auction, close to 200 bids had been entered.

But on Sunday all but 59 bids had been withdrawn or cancelled.

An eBay spokesperson said: "Unfortunately from time to time people do place hoax bids on items on eBay, but eBay has a system in place to prevent this."

Eurotunnel operates shuttle services and manages the tunnel

Sellers can also ban eBay users who have been suspended or whose accounts have been closed.

The spokesperson added: "eBay relies on its community of predominantly trustworthy buyers and sellers to spot any unusual activity."

The drill is described on the auction site as "a prized relic from the greatest construction achievement of the 20th century".

The write-up suggests it would be of interest to science museums or "technical enthusiasts around the world".

A Eurotunnel spokesman said: "There's also a chance that eccentrics might want to buy it."

Money raised from the sale is to be shared between three charities chosen by Eurotunnel staff - McMillan Nurses, Demelza House Hospice and Pilgrim's Hospice.

The auction is due to end at 1715 BST on Monday.

Eurotunnel drill bids reach 5m
05 Apr 04  |  Business

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