PARIS/LONDON, Jan 17 –Traffic through the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France has been halted due to a truck fire, authorities say, calming earlier fears in a region spooked by recent terrorist attacks. Eurotunnel, the operator of the crossing between Britain and France, said passengers on a train between Dover in Britain and Calais in France were evacuated without incident after smoke was detected in the tunnel.
“Due to an incident in the tunnel, all departures are currently suspended in both directions,” Eurotunnel said on its Twitter feed. Britain’s Kent Police later clarified the smoke was the result of a truck that had caught fire at the French end of the tunnel. Eurostar, which operates train services through the tunnel between Paris, London and Brussels, said on its website no trains could run on Saturday following the closure.
It recommended passengers postpone journeys and not come to stations. Trains en route were ordered to return to their original stations, Eurostar also said. France has been on high alert since Islamist militants killed 17 people in three days of violence in Paris that began on January 7 with an attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
On Friday, a gunman held hostages in a post office near Paris, while around the world, Muslims took to the streets in violent protests against the newspaper’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.