Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tunnel fire under English Channel, 6 injured

Associated Press:

A fire broke out Thursday on a train shuttling trucks under the English Channel between England and France, injuring six people and suspending traffic in the undersea tunnel, officials said.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze after it broke out about seven miles from the French side, said a spokesman for Eurotunnel, the company that operates the tunnel.

The shuttle train was carrying 32 people when the fire broke out just before 4 p.m. (1400 GMT), the spokesman said. Most were truck drivers accompanying their vehicles, and all were evacuated safely, he said.

The fire erupted on a single truck carried by the train, and traffic in the 30-mile tunnel will remain suspended until Friday, France's rail operator SNCF said. The cause of the fire had not been determined.

Eurostar said none of its trains were in the tunnel and its services had been canceled for the rest of Thursday.

The regional administration office in Calais, which is overseeing the response to the fire, said six people were injured in the fire.

Several people were sent to nearby hospitals for treatment, an office spokesman said, but he couldn't say whether they had suffered from smoke inhalation or other problems. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Not much to add to this. Hopefully this is going to remain a historically isolated incident.

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