Eurostar passengers are furious after they were left in the darkness and sweltering heat with rancid toilets for FIVE HOURS after migrants climbed onto the roofs of Channel Tunnel trains.
A passenger aboard the train, Geraldine Guyon, said the situation remained tense in the station, which lies close to the port of Calais where some 3,000 migrants living in makeshift camps have been ramping up their attempts to cross the tunnel to Britain.
The most frustrating part of the experience, according to the abandoned passengers, was when they had to wait in the cold for a replacement train.
Suspected migrant activity has suspended Channel Tunnel rail services between the UK and France, Eurostar said.
But reports of trespassers on the tracks and on trains outside the French port town of Calais on Tuesday night affected hundreds of holiday-makers, seeing some Channel Tunnel services delayed or cancelled outright. Photos of a drowned toddler face down in the surf spread quickly across the Internet, yet another searing image from Europe’s worst migration crisis since the 1990s Balkan wars.
Local media reported that the trespassers were migrants attempting to cross into the United Kingdom through the Eurotunnel, also known as the Chunnel.
A Eurostar official said the company hoped to transport passengers to London, the train’s original destination, in the coming hours.
Three trains, one from Brussels and two from Paris, were able to continue their journeys to London after the delays this morning.
Michael Richardson, 45, from north London, who was travelling with his wife and two-year-old son said: “We were told the French army helicopter was searching using thermal imaging cameras”.
Those denied entry on to trains, some who had been gathering since for up to six hours, erupted in protest when they were funneled back out into Budapest station’s courtyard, chanting: “Go free!”
He added: “People were trying to climb on the train”. “Just before we got to the tunnel it was chaos”.
Eurostar had no power to prevent tens of thousands of migrants from swarming through Europe and setting up a tent city in Calais.
Traveller Tom Mayes said he had so far endured a nine-hour delay and described the operator’s apology as “not good enough”.
“I want my freedom, I have been on the road for a very long time, and now I am in the European Union, and I want my freedom”, said Sanil Khan, 32, leader of a group of about 100 young men who marched behind a cardboard cutout Afghan flag in a tight formation.
In an announcement Eurostar said the 7.55am service to Paris had been halted due to “operational issues” and added: “Please wait in line and our team will reallocate you on to the next available service”.
“Our staff have been on hand today and through the night to provide as much support and care as possible to arriving customers and to advise on compensation”, she added.