4 sent to the hospital after Gudvanga Tunnel fire
Four persons are sent to the hospital with minor injuries after a truck-train caught on fire in the Gudvanga Tunnel night before Saturday. The tunnel roof has been severely damaged by the fire.
The emergency services were notified of the fire in Sogn & Fjordane at 3.39 am. A convoy of three truck-trains was one and a half kilometres inside the tunnel when one of them caught fire.
There was heavy heat generation on the site, and smoke rolled out of the tunnel, police informs. Four persons have been sent to Lærdal Hospital with minor smoke injuries. The truck-train was completely burnt out, even though the fire department quickly extinguished the fire.
A total of 33 persons were evacuated, 29 of them are workers who are busy with maintenance of the tunnel. The drivers and all the maintenance workers have all been accounted for, according to the police.
The driver of the car that led the convoy is praised by the fire department. It believes it could have ended much worse if she hadn’t been so quickwitted.
“She made a huge effort. She warned about the fire, took the driver off the burning vehicle and drove out with a trailer behind her. She notified the about 30 persons who were in the tunnel along the way,” Chief Fire Officer of Voss Fire Department, Arnfinn Halrynjo, tells NRK.
26 of the evacuee’s got out on the Gudvanga side, while the 6 others went out on the Aurland side of the tunnel, according to Bergens Tidende. Only the burned-out truck-train was left inside the tunnel at 8 am, writes VG.
“The Gudvanga tunnel is hardly opened for a while. There is extensive damage to the tunnel roof. Recommended detour via national road 13 Voss-Granvik, national road 7 over Hardangervidda and county road 50 Hol/Aurland. Bypassing is also possible via E39 Bergen-Lavik-Oppedal and county road 55 Dragsvik-Hella,” The Public Roads Centre West Tweets.
There will, however, be convoy driving on highway 7 due to bad weather in the area.
“The tunnel will be closed for a long time,” writes West Police District in a press release at 5 am, adding that: “A geologist will conduct surveys in the tunnel, and both walls and roof will be investigated.”
The Gudvanga Tunnel, with its over 11 kilometres in length, is the second longest tunnel in Norway. Five persons were transported to the hospital after a bus caught fire in the tunnel in August 2015. 32 Chinese tourists had to be evacuated at that time, but no one was seriously injured.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today