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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Delays after Channel Tunnel fault
Eurotunnel train
Passengers were trapped on trains for up to six hours
A fault which trapped passengers on a train inside the Channel Tunnel and caused delays of up to six hours for freight and passengers has been fixed.

Eurotunnel said the service was now up and running and extra trains had been added to cope with the backlog.

But passengers heading for France would continue to face delays to journeys until at least midnight on Friday.

The electrical fault in an overhead gantry trapped a train with 130 cars on board near the French side at 1030 BST.

Three babies were very poorly and they had to get a doctor on board
Emma Collins

Cars were on the Eurotunnel train for up to six hours, four of them inside the tunnel, after the power cut.

Emma Collins, who was stranded in her car with her three small children, said: "It started getting very, very, hot.

"Some of the double-stacked vehicles, they didn't fare so well and it got very, very hot.

"Three babies, I understand, were very poorly and they had to get a doctor on board to see to them."

'A bit eerie'

Eurotunnel said a few hundred passengers would have been on the carriages.

A spokesman said the power cut affected only a small part of the tunnel and services continued throughout the day but at a reduced level.

"It would have been a bit eerie down there and reasonably hot," he said.

Trains were expected to be running normally on Saturday morning.

John Keefe, from Eurotunnel, said on Friday: "Both the tunnels are now fully operational and we are steadily increasing the number of departures per hour.

"We will be back in completely normal operations with all the trains back on to time by tomorrow morning"

'Been misled'

Kent Police enacted phase one of Operation Stack to cope with the delayed traffic, closing the coastbound M20 between junctions 11 and 12, for Hythe and Cheriton.

Drivers were warned to avoid the Folkestone area and anyone without a pre-booked ticket told not travel to the tunnel.

But some drivers complained that police had directed them to Dover, telling them the ferry companies would honour tickets.

Alan Hawkes from Cambridgeshire said that when they got there they were told this was not the case and had to turn back.

"We have just been misled all the way down the line and I am very angry with the police," he said.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police and they said they were not aware of officers directing traffic to Dover.




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