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Flooded U.K. tunnels force Eurostar to cancel all London trains Saturday

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Flooding in railway tunnels in southeastern England forced the cancellation of all trains linking London with the European mainland on Saturday, international rail operator Eurostar said, disrupting New Year holiday travel for thousands of passengers, the BBC and Reuters reported.

Eurostar, which runs services from London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, said affected customers were entitled to a full refund or exchange.

Eurostar had initially cancelled 14 trains running on Saturday but said it had decided to cancel all of the day’s services – a total of 41 trains – as the flooding persisted.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the flooding in the railway tunnels under the River Thames near Ebbsfleet, east of London.

Parts of England have faced heavy rain in recent days and an official warning for strong and gusty winds is in place in southern England.

Television footage showed water gushing into one of the tunnels and covering the track, while at St Pancras station in London, hundreds of stranded passengers sat waiting on the concourse.

“We understand this is a vital time to get home at the end of the festive season and ahead of New Year and we are supporting customers in stations,” Eurostar said in an emailed statement.

It is the second time in 10 days there has been major disruption to Eurostar services with a “last-minute strike” by French workers halting trains before Christmas.

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