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Fire shuts down Chunnel

September 12, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A major fire on a freight train damaged the undersea Channel Tunnel, halting rail traffic between Britain and continental Europe.

Eurotunnel, the management company, said there would be no freight or passenger travel today, and it was not known when services would resume.

The blaze turned one of the two main tunnel shafts into an inferno. No one was killed, but six people fell ill after inhaling fumes and were taken to a hospital in Calais, France.

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said it might take several weeks to repair the tunnel dedicated to freight, but the parallel tunnel reserved for passenger trains was not touched by the flames.

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