Near disaster in the channel tunnel was averted earlier today, when a lorry carrying highly flammable materials, burst into flames.
Under normal circumstances, vehicles carrying flammable liquids are not allowed entry to the tunnel, but the lorry in question, which was fully laden with 20 tons of nitro glycerine, a bag of dynamite and 1000 boxes of Swan Vestas, somehow gained access, and was only 7 miles from the French coast when it burst into flames.
The senior fire control officer on the scene, Captain Hugo Fume, made an immediate assessment of the situation, and decided on a drastic course of action.
'It was obvious that the flames from the lorry would soon spread to many other carriages in the tunnel, and possibly threaten the integrity of the tunnel wall itself', said Capt. Fume, 'so I gave the order to open sea valves 25 through to 36.'
These sea valves form a crucial part of the original safety design of the tunnel, and allow sea water to be channeled into the tunnel at a moment's notice, and within minutes, the entire carriage containing the lorry had been flooded, and the fire extinguished.
When asked if there had been any loss of life as a result of this action, Capt Fume assured me that any deaths were entirely necessary. 'Only 200 people perished', he said, 'but the important thing is, we saved the tunnel.'
The tunnel is expected to re-open next Wednesday, after the floodwater has been drained out through sea valves 37 to 45.