Passengers described how they were rushed into a sealed safe room in a frightening ordeal
Eurotunnel passengers have described their frightening ordeal after their train filled with smoke, causing oxygen masks to drop from the ceiling before they were ushered into a sealed safe room.
Thousands of travellers were left stranded last night as the Channel Tunnel was closed by a suspected lorry fire.
Eurostar trains and Eurotunnel vehicle services were all cancelled after smoke filled north and south-bound tunnels under the English Channel.
Passenger Ben Lawton, who was on the train where the lorry caught fire, said gas masks dropped down after smoke started filling their carriage.
He told the BBC: “We were on the train, all of a sudden smoke started coming through from the front, the masks dropped, we had to put the masks on and we were evacuated from the train into a safe room.
“While we were in the safe room no one knew what was going on, they didn’t tell us anything, our train was full of smoke.”
“At first we just thought it was a little technical error, and then the cabin really filled with smoke and we thought it’s time to go, so we put the masks on and came out.
“We came through into an airtight room, which was tiny, and we had to wait there for the fire brigade.”
They were then escorted into an underground tunnel where coaches picked them up and took passengers to a medical centre.
All their vehicles were left on the train, containing passports, clothings and toiletries.
The fire was said to have broken out near France on the Eurotunnel shuttle from Folkestone to Calais at around 11.25am yesterday morning.
Smoke spread to the neighbouring tunnel carrying a Eurostar train from France to the UK.
Spokesman John Keefe said inspectors were sent to the tunnel after two smoke alarms went off.
Large queues built up at St Pancras station, Eurostar’s London terminus, as services were cancelled following the fire, and similar scenes were reported in Paris, with many holidaymakers forced to look for alternative transport or hotels.
Eurotunnel shuttle service and Eurostar trains have resumed this morning.