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Video Shows "Disaster Movie," as Train Passengers Evacuated After Being Stuck in a 31-Mile Long Tunnel Under The Sea

"People were freaking out about being down in the service tunnel, it's a bit of a weird place” a passenger says.

In a scene straight out of a disaster movie (or a horror film), passengers traveling from France to England were stuck in a tunnel underneath the sea for five hours after their train broke down. "Several people were freaking out about being down in the service tunnel, it's a bit of a weird place," one of the passengers said. Here's how the scary situation unfolded. 

Stranded Under the Sea Bed


The passengers were on the 3.50 pm Eurotunnel train from Calais, France, to Folkestone, Kent, on Tuesday, August 23, when an issue with the shuttle meant passengers had to be removed. "The Shuttle was brought to a controlled stop and inspected. As a precautionary measure, for their safety and comfort, we transferred the passengers on board to another shuttle via the service tunnel (which is there for exactly that purpose)," a spokesman said. "We brought them to the passenger terminal building, where food and drinks were available, and then slowly brought out the original shuttle and reunited them with their vehicles." Keep reading to see the video.

The Train Kept Breaking Down


The service tunnel might be there "for exactly that purpose," but it's still incredibly scary to be stuck in a 31-mile long tunnel literally under the sea for nearly five hours. "We got on the 3.50 pm crossing, approximately 10 minutes in the lights went out, and the train stopped," says passenger Michael Harrison, from Kent, who says they were told engineers "needed to investigate an issue with the wheels," which "took approximately one and a half hours for them to investigate and obviously not find anything." 

Evacuated, Again


After not finding anything wrong with the conveyance, the passengers were reloaded on the shuttle—only for the same thing to happen again five minutes later. "We waited a further couple of hours to decide they couldn't see a problem but had to evacuate the train to another train," Harrison says. "After further waiting we left the train through the emergency link tunnel to the service tunnel. We then walked approximately 10 minutes to a train in front of the stricken train."

Even the Rescue Carriage Doesn't Work


"This was a bus carriage where we got transported to Folkestone," says Harrison. "That train then stopped as it couldn't get traction, presumably as it was long and had no weight on it. There were gasps of incredulity when that was announced. We finally arrived in Folkestone six hours after boarding." Another passenger spoke of their frustration with the way Eurotunnel authorities handled the situation. "If I've got a gripe it's that they knew several-hundred people were arriving at Folkestone who hadn't eaten for five, six or more hours and there was absolutely nothing for us here. Just huge queues for Burger King."

"Utter Carnage"


"The service tunnel was terrifying. It was like a disaster movie," says passenger Sarah Fellows, 37, from Birmingham, UK. "You were just walking into the abyss not knowing what was happening. We all had to stay under the sea in this big queue. Fire and rescue were there. There was a woman crying in the tunnel, another woman having a panic attack who was traveling alone. They were expecting really older people to walk for a mile down the middle of a tunnel under the sea. It was utter carnage when we arrived in Folkestone as they hadn't really prepared for us arriving. It just wasn't organized of how to evacuate that train. I was panicking at one point and Border Force told us the tunnel had been evacuated one other time in the last 17 years, not recently."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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