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Hundreds of Eurostar passengers stranded on broken down train for eight hours

About 700 Eurostar passengers have been stranded on a broken down train with no power or working toilets for more than eight hours.

The Amsterdam-bound service departed London St Pancras as scheduled at 8.16am but broke down around half an hour later near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Kent.

Eurostar said the incident was caused by an overhead electric cable falling on the train.

Passengers reported that the train has no power and the toilets are not working.

On social media platform X, Eurostar described the situation onboard as “very challenging”.

A spokesman for the operator said: “An overhead cable has fallen on the 8.16am Eurostar train between London and Amsterdam, at the entrance of the Channel Tunnel.

“There are around 700 passengers and crew on board. They are confirmed to be safe.

“Following a complicated situation due to the position of the train and the track infrastructure, it’s meant that certain safety procedures had to be adhered to before we could move the train.

“The train is currently in the process of being brought back to London.

“All affected passengers on board will be met in London with refreshments and will receive enhanced compensation.

“Eurostar are sorry for issues caused that customers have experienced today.”

One of the passengers, Ben Williams, told online newspaper The Independent: “I think the staff are all very stressed themselves, and I don’t think they’re being kept very well up-to-date.

“We were offered one free food item, that was after we’d been stationary for about four or five hours.

“By that point, I’d already bought myself a sandwich, having been stationary for a couple of hours.

“To be honest, I’ve been pacing myself just because, obviously, the toilets aren’t functioning.”

Another passenger, Jessica Chambers, told the BBC: “It truly feels like an emergency situation but there’s no communication from staff.”