Whip aerial caused January Channel Tunnel fire

An over-height whip aerial on a lorry “almost certainly” caused an electrical arc that led to a fire in the UK portal of the Channel Tunnel on January 17, reports the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

The vehicle was travelling on freight shuttle 7340 at 1200 Central European Time, when its aerial activated electrical protection devices that cut power supply to the overhead lines in the Tunnel. Power was reinstated as control staff were unaware of the reasons for the outage, and the train continued at a reduced speed of 100kph (62mph).

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