UK

Eurostar trains halted by lightning strike in Kent

A Eurostar train
Image caption Eurostar passengers are facing delays after a lightning strike caused a fire near the line

Hundreds of Eurostar passengers suffered delays as a result of a lightning strike in Kent.

The lightning strike on Thursday evening started a fire at a building near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, causing overhead electrical power losses near Ashford.

Eurostar posted messages on Twitter saying three London-bound services and one Paris-bound train were affected.

The London-bound trains arrived at St Pancras by 01:40 GMT.

The firm initially said four trains - heading from Paris to London, Brussels to London and London to Paris - were travelling back to their points of departure.

However, in a later update the service said London-bound trains would continue to their destination.

Pierre Delalande from Eurostar said the only train that did not reach its destination was a London to Paris service.

"Customers are being offered taxis and hotels where necessary," he said.

Eurostar said it intends "to run a normal service" on Friday.

Cancellations were also in place on Southeastern trains between Ashford International and Ramsgate until the early hours.

Replacement bus services were running in both directions and a shuttle train service was available from Dover Priory to Ramsgate.

Kent Fire and Rescue said firefighters have been called to "a number of incidents" following a lightning storm in the Folkestone and Dover.

Crews have been fighting a fire in an electrical substation at the Dollands Moore Freight Depot, in Folkestone, the service said.

Have you been affected by the Eurostar delays? Send your experience to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with the subject heading 'Eurostar' or fill in the form below.

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