ARMED French police board the Eurostar bound for London after a Brit was accused of wearing the “wrong type of mask”.
The play saw an unidentified man being arrested and deboarded from a train after making an emergency stop in Lille, northern France.
The incident came to light when Eurostar 9031 departed Paris Gare du Nord at 1.13 pm French time on Thursday.
The man – who is in his 40s and believed to be from Liverpool – was then surrounded by at least eight uniformed officers,
He was left stranded when the train resumed its journey to England.
“I’ve done nothing wrong and respect all coronavirus rules – it’s absolutely outrageous,” he said, as he was escorted in front of other stunned passengers.
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He continued: “I have absolutely no idea what this is all about, except that a member of Eurostar staff disliked me very much, and accused me of not wearing the right kind of mask.
“Now I’m going to be alone in France, when I only wanted to go home from a work trip.
“It’s very cruel treatment. We shouldn’t all treat each other like this.”
When asked why the man was taken off the train, one of the Lille police officers confirmed he had been arrested, adding: “We don’t know why, we’ll have to find out.”
The female Eurostar manager – who remained on the train after the man was taken into custody – confirmed that she had reported him wearing the “wrong type of mask”.
Other passengers then complained about an unscheduled, unannounced stop in Lille causing a delay of about 15 minutes.
“Why is Eurostar stopping its trains, and delaying hundreds of passengers, because of a small dispute over a man’s mask?” Said one.
According to Eurostar the man was not arrested but “refused to travel”.
A spokesman said the rules “clearly state” that face COVID masks must be worn at both stations and on board, and the failure resulted in passengers being refused travel.
“Unfortunately, on Thursday a passenger aboard a service from Paris to the UK repeatedly removed his mask both in station and on board, despite gentle reminders from staff,” she said.
“During the journey, the passenger became aggressive and intimidated towards the on-board team when they politely reminded him to wear a mask as required under our conditions of carriage.
“Eurostar teams have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all of them, and this type of behavior towards our employees cannot be tolerated.
“As a result, the passenger was asked to leave the train at Lille station and in this situation it is normal practice for the police to be present and assist.”
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