Eurostar Delays At Gare Du Nord Caused By Passenger Trying to Get WW2 Bomb Through Security

'Chaos caused by sheer incompetence of the Paris management.'

31/05/2016 13:27

Eurostar passengers have reacted angrily to news that a commuter trying to take a Second World War bomb onto a London-bound train was to blame for the cancellation of services and an evacuation of Gare du Nord Station. 

Hundreds of passengers were stranded overnight in Paris amid chaotic scenes at Gare du Nord after officials found a "suspect package" about 6pm Monday. 

Eurostar later cancelled the last two trains of the night to St Pancras as passengers complained of five-hour delays and a lack of information from Eurostar and station officials. Police were called in to calm crowds as anger and confusion set in. 

Stephane Mahe / Reuters
Two Eurostar trains from Paris Gare du Nord station were cancelled Monday night after a passenger tried to get a Second World War bomb through security

A Eurostar worker at St Pancras told the Evening Standard that the delays were caused by a passenger trying to take a Second World War shell, "which was a souvenir", through security.

The worker was quoted as saying: "They decided to cancel two trains because it caused security concerns. It wasn’t malicious or anything.

“But because there was also engineering work going on through the night in the tunnel, it meant they had to cancel them and were unable to run them later and some people had to stay overnight in Paris.”

A Eurostar spokesperson on Tuesday told the Huffington Post UK that the cancellations were caused by "some memorabilia which had been brought back from the war sites in Northern France".

However, those commenting on the delays on social media were more annoyed with officials' reaction to the incident, than the traveller responsible. 

The Eurostar spokesperson said the happening was "relatively common", despite there being "lots of signs at check-in" informing passengers what items they are prohibited from travelling with. 

It is at least the seventh time since 2011 that passengers have tried to board Eurostar trains with wartime relics, the Standard reported. 

"On this occasion someone had done so without declaring it to customs, so there was an evacuation whilst this was checked," The Eurostar spokesperson said. 

The bomb scare compounded problems for travellers already dealing the closure of a fifth of French petrol stations due to strikes. Further strikes are expected this weekend, with French air traffic controllers threatening a walk out. 

Matthew Kiss, a City banker, told the Standard that the entire incident was a "serious management issue". 

The French authorities have also been accused of being ill-prepared for the influx of football fans attending the Euro 2016 tournament, which starts in less than a fortnight. 


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