Thousands of passengers were stuck in trains after several Eurostar services were delayed or cancelled by a power cable problem.

The snag was caused by power malfunction in the overhead electricity lines on the French side of the tunnel between the Channel Tunnel and Paris.

The power glitch forced Eurostar, the operator of the service, to cancel several services on Monday and a number of trains scheduled for Tuesday. Long delays in the running of trains are also expected.

A Eurostar statement on its website read: "Due to an overhead power cable on the line, Eurostar services between London and Paris will be running with delays until lunch time, Tuesday 6th March. In addition, trains 9009 9109 9014 and 9110 on Tuesday 6th March are cancelled".

Passengers were stuck in the trains for nearly seven to nine hours on Monday during the journey between London and Paris which normally takes about two hours and fifteen minutes.

"We are trying to do everything we can to get passengers to their destination. We are doing everything we can to make their journey as comfortable as possible," the BBC quoted an Eurostar spokeswoman as saying.

The power supply problem forces the trains to avoid the high speed lines they usually run on causing severe delays.