Switzerland's Gotthard road tunnel closed by deadly crash


Photo from Cantonal Police Uri shows a traffic accident between a car and a truck in the Gotthard tunnel near the village of Hospental, Switzerland, 13 December 2017Image copyright
EPA

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The tunnel is a vital north-south link through the Alps

The Gotthard road tunnel in Switzerland, one of Europe’s main transport routes, has been closed following a deadly crash.

Police said two people were killed and four injured in the head-on crash between a car and a lorry on Wednesday.

The tunnel, which runs beneath the Alps, will remain closed for several hours while the wreckage is cleared.

Investigators said it appeared that the driver of the German-registered car had crossed the central line.

The 10 mile (17km) tunnel, which opened in 1980, is a main north-to-south route for Europe and is used by more than a million freight lorries a year.

In 2001, 11 people were killed when two lorries collided head-on in the tunnel, triggering a huge fire. It reopened with stricter safety measures in place.

Last year, the Gotthard rail tunnel was opened to try to relieve some of the traffic using other routes.



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