2 Sep 2015

‘Refugees on train roofs’ causes Eurostar disruption

Refugees climbing on top of trains at Calais on Tuesday night causes major travel disruption, leaving Eurostar passengers stranded.

Trains were held for a few hours after asylum-seekers, many of them Syrian refugees, were removed from the track area around Calais-Frethun station.

One passenger tweeted from the train that people had been asked to “listen out for people walking on the roof” while they waited for the police to arrive after they were first notified of the disruption shortly before 9pm.

Following long delays at the French port, two services were forced to turn back, one to London and one to Paris. Another train heading to London was unable to return to Paris because of a technical fault.

Eurostar tweeted that a “rescue train” was sent from London to collect passengers in Calais this morning. They also offered their “sincere apologies” to those affected by the disruptions.

A Eurostar spokesman said passengers hoping to travel later this morning should expect a normal service.

However, a queue of passengers began forming at St Pancras railway station and the 07.55 London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord was cancelled.

This is the latest major disruption to the Euro tunnel by refugees. Earlier this year, weeks of travel chaos erupted either side of the Channel as refugees attempted to reach the UK.

At its peak the number of attempts to board lorries or trains was around 2,000 a night but that has since fallen.

The crisis in Calais is part of a wider migrant surge into Europe from north Africa and the Middle East.