Suffolk family trapped in Chunnel

A SUFFOLK family were among 2,000 people trapped inside the Channel Tunnel early today after the wintry weather struck the under-sea link.Lee and Jo Godfree, and their son Ethan, four, were returning from holiday at Disneyland Paris, when they were caught up in the chaos, which left four Eurostar trains stuck.

Richard Cornwell

A SUFFOLK family were among 2,000 people trapped inside the Channel Tunnel early today after the wintry weather struck the under-sea link.

Lee and Jo Godfree, and their son Ethan, four, were returning from holiday at Disneyland Paris, when they were caught up in the chaos, which left four Eurostar trains stuck.

Passengers told how power failures left them all sitting in complete darkness, some suffering panic attacks, and hours later running short of food, drink and medication as they waited for help.

Mr Godfree, 41, of Stowmarket, said: “It was an absolute nightmare.

“The conditions we were left in were atrocious, with little communication and people getting very frustrated and worried.

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“When it came to evacuating, the train passengers had to organise it themselves.”

Eurostar has promised “a proper and full” inquiry into the incident, in which trains are thought to have broken down after leaving the cold air outside and going into the tunnel's warmer air.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “We're absolutely committed to make sure something like this doesn't happen again to our passengers.

“To have four failed trains in the channel tunnel is an exceptional situation.

“When you have severe cold and snow even if you are operating within speed restrictions, which we were yesterday afternoon and evening, you do get a build-up of snow under and around the train and when you enter the tunnel you get water and at the end of the day these are electric trains.”