Bomb squad called to suspicious vehicle at Folkestone Channel tunnel terminal

An army bomb squad has been called in and a man was detained after police stopped a suspicious vehicle at the Channel tunnel terminal in Kent.

Traffic was said to be backing up after access to the tunnel was blocked and a cordon put in place to protect the public. The incident is not linked to the hunt for the escaped prisoner Daniel Khalife, Kent police said.

The force said: “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 inquiries are ongoing.”

A spokesperson for Eurotunnel said: “Routine security controls in advance of the Channel tunnel access have intercepted a suspicious vehicle 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.

“Eurotunnel is contacting customers booked to travel today to warn them of disrupted access to the terminal in Folkestone this afternoon. 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.”

While the two police operations are not linked, the hunt for Khalife is compounding the traffic issues approaching the Kent coast.

Police said junctions 8 and 9 of the M20 were temporarily shut on Thursday because of the enhanced security checks, and to allow freight heading for mainland Europe to queue on the empty section of the motorway.

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