Fire in the Channel Tunnel [36 out of 40, 2000/2001]

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Chris Larham’s English and French creative writing on the theme of ‘fire in the Channel Tunnel’ [36 out of 40, 2000/2001] can be opened in a print-friendly text document format here
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FRANÇAIS ENGLISH

Incendie dans le tunnel sous la Manche

Fire in the Channel Tunnel

Monsieur,

Il faut que je vous écrive afin de vous informer sur l’incendie dans le tunnel sous la Manche qui s’est passé lundi dernier.

C’était un jour tragique – un jour qui était plein de chaos. À cause des flammes répandues, tout le monde était affolé – surtout les femmes, qui sont devenu hystériques quand la locomotive de tête a arrêté à cause de la défaillance du système alimentation d’électrique.

Après l’arrivée des pompiers (par le tunnel de service), les voyagers sont devenus calmes encore une fois parce qu’ils ont attaqué le feu et l’ont éteint. Huit passagers gravement étouffés par les fumées ont été transportés au centre hospitalier de Lille par hélicoptère.

À mon avis, nous devons continuer à se servir du tunnel parce qu’il est le meilleur moyen de transport pour cette entreprise. Personnellement, le confort, le manque de stress et la vitesse du tunnel [35 minutes quai à quai!] me plaisent beaucoup. Je crois qu’il faut que nous embrassions la nouvelle technologie pour être une entreprise couronnée de succès! En plus, le tunnel est achevé en 1993, et cette catastrophe-ci est la première de sa vie – d’après cette statistique, ce n’est pas un moyen de transport dangereux.

Si on n’utilise plus le tunnel, nous souffrirons des inconvénients des autres moyens de transport: la durée du voyage sera augmenté; l’irrégularité de service… Tous ces faits diminueront notre compétitivité en comparaison avec les autres entreprises françaises qui sont populaires en France et des autres pays – Elf Aquitaine et Totale, par exemple.

Finalement, quant à moi, je pourrais reprendre mon travail dans deux semaines {selon les médecins je n’ai que quelques blessures mineurs}. Bien que je souffre des suites de l’incident en ce moment, je serai heureux de revenir tout de suite.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués,
Larry Larham (chauffeur de camion) [^]

Dear Sir,

It is necessary for me to write to you in order to inform you about the fire in the Channel Tunnel that occurred last Monday.

It was a tragic day – a day full of chaos. Because of the widespread flames, everybody panicked – especially the women, who became hysterical when the locomotive at the head of the shuttle stopped, owing to an electrical system failure.

After the arrival of the firemen (via the service tunnel), the travellers became calm once again as the firemen attacked and extinguished the fire. Eight passengers who were seriously suffocated by the smoke fumes were transported to the hospital in Lille by helicopter.

In my opinion, we must continue to use the Channel Tunnel because it is the best form of transport for our business. Personally, the comfort, lack of stress, and speed of the Tunnel [35 minutes from platform to platform!] make me very happy. I believe that we must embrace new technology to be a successful business! Furthermore, the Tunnel’s construction was finished in 1993, and this catastrophe is the first of its kind – according to this statistic, it is not a dangerous form of transport.

If we no longer use the Tunnel we will suffer from the inconveniences of other forms of transport: the length of the journey will be increased; irregularity of service… All these facts will diminish our competitiveness relative to other French businesses that are popular in France and other countries – Elf Aquitaine and Totale, for example.

Finally, as for me, I will be able to return to work in two weeks {according to the doctors I only have a few minor injuries}. Though I am suffering from the aftermath of the incident at the moment, I will be happy to return quickly.

Yours sincerely,
Larry Larham (lorry driver) [^]

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34-year-old father of three wonderful children [William, Seth, and Alyssa]. Works as an Assistant Technical Officer in the Sterile Services Department of Treliske Hospital, Cornwall. Enjoys jogging, web design, being a bit of a geek, and supporting Arsenal FC. Obtained a BA degree in English from the University of Bolton in 2008, and has continued to gain qualifications in a diverse range of subjects thereafter.

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