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UK body to work on Channel Tunnel fire investigation

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) will play a part in the investigation into the fire that disrupted Channel Tunnel rail services earlier this month.

The body, which forms part of the Department for Transport, said it would work with France’s Bureau d’Enquetes sur les Accidents de Transport Terrestre (BEATT) on a report into the incident.

Passenger and freight services were suspended in both directions on Saturday 17 January after a fire on a freight train in the tunnel.

The initial description of the incident by the RAIB suggests it took four hours from when the fire was detected to when it was brought under control. “Several hours of dousing” were required after this to cool the freight shuttle down, according to the RAIB.

As the train stopped in the French section of the tunnel, the investigation will be led by BEATT. This will aim to establish the sequence of events and factors that led to the fire; understand how the event was managed; and identify safety lessons.

Both the RAIB and BEATT will publish the findings, including any recommendations.

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