CHANNEL TUNNEL update: Shuttle train passengers being evacuated after overhead power lines apparently came down. http://t.co/RwiXjmhcvG
The French-bound Eurotunnel passenger shuttle train came to a halt about a quarter of the way through the tunnel after a problem with the overhead power line. 382 passengers and four dogs were evacuated and taken on to the French terminal.
Eurostar says it will pay for special ambulance to take a morbidly obese man from London, via ferry, to France. 22-year-old Kevin Chenais was stopped from travelling by train because of concerns over safety.
This afternoon, Eurostar said:
"Having arranged overnight accommodation in central London for Mr Chenais and his family, we contacted P&O last night to request their assistance arranging passage across the Channel.
"Following receipt of the necessary safety clearance from P&O we paid for the family to be transported to Dover in a special ambulance where they will board the P&O 'Pride of Britain' bound for Calais later this afternoon.
"Upon arrival in Calais, the family will continue their journey in the same ambulance to their home in south eastern France."
A ferry company has agreed to help a morbidly obese Frenchman stranded in London after he was stopped from getting on a Eurostar train. P&O Ferries says it will take 22-year-old Kevin Chenais across the English Channel. Eurostar said he posed a significant safety risk.
P&O Ferries said:
"We're delighted to help. It's not difficult for us. We are used to carrying ambulances across the Channel, so we are set up for this type of thing.
"It's difficult to imagine the frustration that this gentleman has gone through.
"But for us, it's very straight-forward as we are set up to carry people who have medical needs."
“This is a terrible situation. Our heart goes out to Mr Chenais and his family who are understandably desperate to return home after being stranded in America," a Eurostar spokesman said.
"Unfortunately, there was no question that he would have been able to travel with Eurostar as we must observe very strict safety rules which govern travel through the Channel Tunnel."
The company said Mr Chenais’ immobility would have affected strict evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency, which may have posed a safety risk to himself, Eurostar officials and other passengers on board.
Eurostar confirmed that they had paid for Mr Chenais and his family to stay in London while they liaised with other partners to help find a solution to the 22-year-old's travel woes.
A Frenchman who was stranded in the United States because he was too heavy to fly has now been refused travel by Eurostar officials.
Kevin Chenais, 22, who weighs more than 35 stone, had been in the US since May 2012 after undergoing treatment for a hormone imbalance, but his plans to return home last month were thwarted after British Airways refused to accept him on to a flight.
After being rejected by the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship in his bid to sail across the Atlantic, Mr Chenais was finally accepted onto a Virgin Atlantic flight to Heathrow.
The Frenchman was greeted at the airport yesterday by French consular staff who arranged for the 22-year-old and his family to board a Paris-bound Eurostar train.
However, Eurostar refused entry to Mr Chenais as his lack of "mobility" did not coincide with their regulations for evacuation procedures.
The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) anticipated about 6.5 million rail journeys will be made over the bank holiday weekend.
An Atoc spokesman said: "The vast majority of people travelling by train this bank holiday will be unaffected by improvement work."
Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar said it expected to handle more than 120,000 passengers over the weekend - 10% more than over the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday period last year which was the first weekend in June.
Tomorrow will be Eurostar's busiest day of the holiday period.
Bosses at Gatwick said more than 790,000 passengers would be passing through the West Sussex airport between bank holiday Monday and Sunday June 2.
Among popular destinations for those flying from Gatwick are Spain, Portugal, the Balearic Islands, Turkey and the south of France.
Top city breaks include Dublin, Belfast and Amsterdam.