On 22nd October when the north drive of No. 1 tunnel had reached a point roughly below the back wall of the car-ferry recess on the north bank a blow-out occurred at the tunnel face. Pressure was lost and water entered the tunnel, but the reserve compressor plant was immediately brought into use and all personnel were safely evacuated. Repair work was begun almost immediately but will take some weeks to complete. I understand that tunnelling at this point is likely to be resumed in about a month's time.
Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that after this accident, which might well have been a disaster, it was stated at management level that the blow-out had been anticipated? If it was anticipated, what action was taken by the management to prevent it occurring?
It was realised that they were reaching a very dangerous patch, and precautions were taken. It is very satisfactory that, as a result of the precautions, when an accident occurred there was no loss of life.