Eurostar trains suspended for 24 hours

16th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 16, 2007 (AFP) - Eurostar said Friday it was suspending all services between London and continental Europe for 24 hours due to a track-side fire in the British capital.

LONDON, March 16, 2007 (AFP) - Eurostar said Friday it was suspending all services between London and continental Europe for 24 hours due to a track-side fire in the British capital.

The passenger train company said there was a risk of gas cylinders exploding following the blaze near an inner-city commuter train station. Some 11,000 people expected to travel on Eurostar Friday night would be affected, it added.

The incident also severely disrupted domestic commuter services heading out of London's mainline Waterloo and Victoria stations.

Some nearby homes and businesses have been evacuated as a 200-metre exclusion zone was placed around the area while the gas cylinders cool.

"We were informed by Network Rail that a serious line-side fire in a yard near Wandsworth Road station has meant the fire authorities have instructed them to close all the railway lines in this area," a Eurostar spokesman said.

"This means that no Eurostar services can operate in or out of Waterloo International.

"Because of the risk of gas cylinders exploding, the fire authorities have stated that it will be 24 hours before they can intervene.

"There is no alternative route and therefore, Eurostar regrets that it has no alternative but to suspend its entire operation until Saturday at 1700 GMT.

"Eurostar passengers who are unable to travel can exchange (within two months) or have their tickets refunded."

London Fire Brigade said the incident involved an unidentified cylinder.

"Crews were called to a fire at a breakers yard at 1:30 pm (1330 GMT)," a spokesman said.

"The fire was quickly put out, but an unidentified cylinder is involved.

"As some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat there is a 200-metre hazard zone in place whilst the cylinder is being cooled."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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