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Eurostar suspended due to cold weather
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eurostar trains have been suspended today due to cold weather, and further snowfall is predicted in the United Kingdom, while the rail company attempts to work out what caused a series of electrical flaws on Friday.

On Friday night, more than 2,000 people were trapped in the Channel Tunnel for sixteen hours after the cold weather and condensation caused a number of electrical faults.

Calais port, in the French city where the Channel Tunnel terminates, was also closed yesterday, causing traffic problems on the roads around the English cities of Dover and Folkestone, near the tunnel’s British entrance.

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The Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the south-east of England, Nirj Deva, has called for Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown to resign, saying that it would be the “decent thing” to do in the light of “astonishing incompetence”. Brown has apologised for the incident, and said it was “absolutely unprecedented”, and conceded that “it took too long to get the trains out”.

Kent Police say that there is now very little traffic waiting for a place on the Channel Tunnel, with more than 3,500 vehicles having crossed the English Channel on ferries. Supt. Andy Rabey made a statement on the suspension: “Overnight we’ve been working very hard with our partners to clear the queues and help people get away for Christmas. If you have a crossing booked and haven’t set out yet, check with your operator before leaving home.” A Eurostar spokeswoman issued an apology, in which she said that “it’s not possible” to run services.

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