Cross-channel transport services were hit by delays last night following a fire on board a flat-bed lorry being carried on a freight train in the Channel Tunnel.

A total of 34 people on board the Eurotunnel freight shuttle train were evacuated from the north-running tunnel at around 12.30pm after a smoke alarm was activated.

Thirty firefighters from both sides of the Channel were drafted in to tackle the fire on the flat-bed lorry which took hold about 12 kilometres from the UK terminal in Folke-stone, Kent, on the France-bound section of the tunnel.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the power supply was isolated before firefighters spent 15 minutes extinguishing the blaze.

None of the 34 people evacuated from the freight shuttle into the service tunnel were injured.

But Eurotunnel suspended its commercial services, hitting its passenger and freight shuttles and also the high-speed London to Paris and Brussels Eurostar trains that run through the tunnel.

Last night Eurotunnel said limited services were in operation.

In addition, there were scaled-back passenger services running every 90 minutes from Folkestone to France.