Fire in the Hole: The 2008 Channel Tunnel (France/England) Train Fire


The site of the tunnel under the Strait of Dover in Europe.
A sketch of the Channel Tunnel’s approximate routing between the two terminals.

The train involved

A freight shuttle similar to the one involved in the accident photographed in 2012. Note that the carrier cars pictured do feature the short roofs in some cases.

The accident

A photo from the report showing the main passageway used by escaping passengers and the train car with the busted window beyond it.
One of the truck drivers arriving at the portal of the service tunnel aboard one of the rescue vehicles.


One of the burned trucks being examined after the train’s remains were dragged out of the tunnel.
Trucks parked along either side of the closed motorway the day after the accident, “Operation Stack” has a capacity of 3000 trucks in addition to the 500 normal parking spots.
A screenshot from CCTV-footage inside the tunnel showing the smoke-filled truck.
A screenshot along with an enlarged section of the same frame showing the affected truck’s thin aerial during the load-process.
The two fully destroyed trucks after being dragged from the tunnel, the fire was started by the one on the left.
The SAFE-system being demonstrated with an imaginary fire aboard a first generation train.
Part of the burned train being recovered from the tunnel during cleanup work. Note that the train consisted of both first (pictured) and second generation carrier cars.



Train crash reports and analysis, published weekly.

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