Eurotunnel evacuates Channel Tunnel because of smoke

LONDON (AFX), August 21 – Eurotunnel said it evacuated the Channel Tunnel and suspended services at around 1.00 pm (1400 GMT) after smoke was seen coming from a freight shuttle train.

"The evacuation was carried out smoothly," said a spokeswoman for Eurostar, which operates high-speed passenger trains through the Channel Tunnel linking London with Paris and Brussels.

"All services, including passenger and freight shuttle trains and through-train and freight services, are not running at present," she said. "We are standing by to start services again as soon as we can."

In a statement, Eurotunnel said the emergency services attended the incident and identified a small fire on a lorry being carried on board the Shuttle. This was rapidly extinguished.

Eurotunnel said it is conducting checks of the tunnel and its equipment, and once these investigations are completed, it will begin a progressive restart of commercial services.

The incident happened in the first stretch of the British side of the tunnel, in the direction towards France.