Eurotunnel lockdown sparks chaos with holidaymakers stuck in gridlock as Army explosives experts probe ‘security issue’ – but officials insist it is not related to escaped prisoner
Explosive experts have been called to the Channel Tunnel and a man has been detained after a ‘suspicious vehicle’ was stopped by police.
Eurotunnel services have been suspended after the vehicle was halted at around 10.30am at the terminal in Cheriton, Folkestone.
It is not being linked to the search for escaped prisoner Daniel Khalife.
The incident has sparked huge queues on the approach to the tunnel, stretching back onto the M20 motorway.
A police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘At around 10.30am on Friday 8 September 2023 a suspicious vehicle was stopped at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Cheriton.
‘Explosives experts from the British Army have been called to the scene and a cordon has been put in place for the safety of the public.
‘This is currently having an effect on traffic approaching the terminal.
‘A man has been detained in connection with the incident and enquiries are ongoing.’
A Eurotunnel spokesperson added: ‘A suspicious vehicle has been intercepted during a routine security check at the Channel Tunnel Terminal in Folkestone.
‘Kent police and specialist officers are dealing with the incident.
‘Access to the Folkestone terminal is currently suspended awaiting the outcome of the police intervention.
‘Customers are advised to check on the LeShuttle website and social media for the latest travel information.
‘Customers are advised that, because of this incident, travel will be severely disrupted throughout the afternoon and to prepare to modify their travel plans as a consequence.’
It is the latest travel chaos to hit Britain after thousands of unclaimed suitcases were pictured piling up in Heathrow‘s Terminal 4 this morning – leaving passengers walking around in vain in a bid to find their belongings.
Pictures from the baggage reclaim hall revealed countless items of luggage lying around, with their owners nowhere to be seen.
And footage shows the huge snaking line of suitcases, left by baggage handlers.
As the school summer holidays draw to a close, Brits landing into the busy airport spent a chunk of their morning frantically trying to find their bags.
A spokeswoman for Heathrow told MailOnline long queues at Border Force had been delaying passengers from collecting their bags off the conveyor belts, causing the pile-up. Just before 1pm she said they had been cleared.
It follows huge delays yesterday on the M20, which was temporarily shut between junctions eight and nine.
This was for enhanced security checks following the escape of former British soldier Khalife – and to allow freight heading for mainland Europe to queue on the empty section of the motorway.
Dominic Murphy, the head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command unit, said: ‘It’s absolutely possible he’s here or he has already left the country.
‘There’s been a huge effort in borders all around the country trying to identify if Daniel Khalife has been attempting to leave the country.
‘We are focusing our efforts at the moment in the UK and in London, which is where at the moment we believe him to be, but we will keep an open mind.’
There is more travel woe to come this weekend as well, with major engineering works on the railways following two consecutive Saturdays of strikes.
Most operators have a partially reduced service or replacement buses planned for this weekend as a raft of improvement projects take place on mainline routes.
Among the worst hit will be South Western Railway, with trains to and from London Waterloo badly affected by lines in Wimbledon closing – and seven replacement bus routes set to run into South West London to and from Clapham Junction.