There was panic onboard as an announcement came across on the train’s tannoy system informing passengers that the driver intended to enter the tunnel slowly and cautiously to see if there was a fire – which naturally caused some raised eyebrows and concern.

“He said they could not find anyone to check if there was a fire — so he was going to drive through the tunnel at quarter speed to find out. Everyone was upset. Some were on the verge of panic,” commuter Simon Foster told The Sun.

Southeastern apologised and confirmed that there had been a small fire caused by a problem with a conductor rail at Mountfield Tunnel near Robertsbridge in East Sussex.

A spokesperson said “While we ask that drivers keep passengers informed, this announcement caused unnecessary alarm and we’re sorry. At no time were passengers in any danger.”

It’s been an interesting week for causing passenger panic in travel – it was recently claimed that half of pilots have fallen asleep in the cockpit on commercial flights according to new statistics presented to MPs by the British Airline Pilots Association.

Main image: Getty