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Pattaya Daily News

22 February 2010 :: 15:02:45 pm 13902

Eurostar Fails Again: Over 700 Passengers Left Stranded

The 'Eurostar' intercontinental passenger train has broken down once again with over 700 passengers and crew having to be rescued on the outskirts of Kent in the United Kingdom.
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United Kingdom, the 22nd February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The Eurostar Paris to London train experienced what the company described as a ‘major technical problem’, leaving passengers stranded in the dark for two hours.

According to passengers, the train left Ashford, but ten minutes into the journey it just stopped leaving them without power. Staff had kept passengers informed and the rescue operation appeared to be “well organized”.  They were provided with water, but staff did not appear to have torches. One passenger, who had been transferred to the rescue train, said the evacuation process was very slow. He also stated that Eurostar is under staffed, under resourced and unprepared to handle such incidents.

On arrival at London’s St Pancreas station at 02.35 GMT, passengers were given food and drink. Passengers who were aboard the train when it broke down are being offered cash refunds as well as free return tickets in compensation.

Eurostar would not confirm claims that the electricity supply was disrupted or that the power car had become detached from the rest of the train. A spokeswoman stated that they did not know what had caused the electrically powered train to stop at approximately 22.45 GMT, but were investigating the incident. She continued that the rescue train was there incredibly quick and everything had been put into position so that people needing taxis or hotels, would be taken care of. Our priority is to make sure our passengers are looked after.

Eurostar said they did not expect any more disruptions to services and passengers should check in as normal. This incident is the latest to hit Eurostar. In December, heavy snowfall caused trains to lose power leaving the service crippled for three days.

There have been a series of disasters for Eurostar raising concerns over poor conditions for passengers stuck on trains in the channel tunnel. Carriages lost air conditioning and lighting as a result of power failures, whilst sanitary conditions deteriated.

There have also been delays in services between UK and Brussels following a crash between two Belgium passenger trains on 15th February 2010. The firm has been strongly criticized by an independent review which said its contingency plans were insufficient for helping stranded passengers.

Reporter: Victoria Pollard

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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