Fire Accidents in the World's Road Tunnels
            CONSEQUENCES
Year TUNNEL
Length
Location
Country
Vehicle where
fire occurred
Most possible
cause of fire
 Duration
of fire
Consequences
people
Damaged
vehicles
Structures and
installations
1949 Holland
2 550 m
New York
USA
Lorry with
11 tons of
carbondisulfid
Load falling
off lorry
explosion
4 h 66 injured
smoke
inhalation
10 lorries
13 cars
Serious damage
over 200 m
1974 Mont Blanc
11 600 m
France-Italy Lorry Motor 15 min 1 injured    
1976 Crossing BP - A6
430 m
Paris
France
Lorry with
drums of 16 tons
polyesterfilm
High speed 1 h 12 light
injuries (smoke)
1 lorry Serious damage
over 150 m
1978 Velsen
770 m
Velsen
Nederland
4 lorries
2 cars
Front-rear-
collision
1h 20 5 dead
5 injured
4 lorries
2 cars
Serious damage
over 30 m
1979 Nihonzaka
2 045 m
Shitzuoka
Japan
4 lorries
2 cars
Front-rear-
collision
159 h 7 dead
1 injured
127 lorries
46 cars
Serious damage
over 1 100 m
1980 Kajiwara
740 m
Japan 1 truck with
3600 litres of
paint in 200 cans
Collision with
side wall and
overturning
  1 dead 1 truck, 4t
1 truck, 10t
Serious damage
over 280 m
1982 Caldecott
1 028 m
Oakland
USA
1 car, 1 coach
1 lorry with
33000 l of petrol
Front-rear-
collision
2h 40 7 dead
2 injured
3 lorries
1 coach
4 cars
Serious damage
over 580 m
1982
3. Nov.
Salang
2 700 m
Mazar-e-Sharif
- Kabul
Afghanistan
Soviet military
column. At least
one petrol truck.
Front collission
Destroyed tank
  > 400 dead
 
1983 Pecorila Galleria
662 m
Gênes
Savone
Italy
Lorry
wth fish
Front-rear-
collision
  9 dead
22 injured
10 cars
Little damage
1986 L'Arme
1 105 m
Nice
France
Lorry with
trailer
Braking after
high speed
  3 dead
5 injured
1 lorry
4 cars
Some equipment
destroyed
1987 Gumefens
343 m
Berne
Switzerland
1 lorry
Front-rear-
collision
2 h 2 dead 2 lorries
1 van
Slight damage
1990 Røldal
4 656 m
Røldal
Norway
VW transporter
with trailer

50 min 1 injured   Little damage
1990 Mont Blanc
11 600 m
France-Italy Lorry with
20 tons of cotton
Motor   2 injured 1 lorry Some equipment
destroyed
1993 Serra Ripoli
442 m
Bologne-Florence
Italy
1 car + lorry with
rolls of paper
Collision 2h 30 4 dead
4 injured
5 lorries
11 cars
Little damage
1993 Hovden
1 290m
Høyanger
Norway
Motor cycle
2 cars
Front-rear-
collision
1h 5 injured in the
collision.
1 motor cycle
2 cars
111 m insulation
material destroyed
1994 Huguenot
3 914 m
South-Afrika Bus with
45 passengers
Electrical fault 1h 1 dead
28 injured
1 coach Serious damage
1995
10. April
Pfander
6 719 m
Austria Lorry with
trailer
Collision 1h 3 dead in the
collision
4 injured
1 lorry
1 van
1 car
Serious damage
1996
18. March
Isola delle
Femmine
148 m
Palermo
Italy
1 tanker with liquid
gas + 1 little bus
Front-rear-
collision
  5 dead
20 injured
1 tanker
1 bus
18 cars
Serious damage
tunnel closed for
2.5 days
1999
24. March
Mont Blanc
11 600 m
France-Italy Lorry with
flour and margarine
Oil leakage
Motor
  39 dead 23 lorries
10 cars
1 motor cycle
2 fire engines
Serious damage
Tunnel reopens
22.12.2001
1999
29. May
Tauern
6 401 m
A10 Salzburg-Spittal
Austria
Lorry
with paint
Front-rear-collision
4 cars and
2 lorries
  12 dead
49 injured
14 lorries
26 cars
Serious damage
2000
14. July
Seljestad
1 272 m
E 134 Drammen - Haugesund
Norway
The trailer-truck that caused the multiple
collision had a diesel fire
in the engine room
before the collision.
Front-rear-collision
A trailer-truck
pushed a car
into 4 cars that
had stopped behind
another truck.
45 min 6 injured 1 lorry
6 cars
1 MC
Serious damage.
NOK 1 mill.
Tunnel colsed
for 1 1/2 days.
2001
28. May
Prapontin
4 409 m
A 32 Torino - Bardonecchia
Italy
Romanian truck
loaded with beets
Mechanical
problem
  19 injured
by smoke


Closed til
6. June in
direction
Frejus (west)
2001
6. Aug.
Gleinalm
8 320 m
A 9 near Graz
Austria
Car
Front collission
lorry - car
  5 dead
4 injured
1 lorry
1 car

2001
24. Oct.
St. Gotthard
16 918 m
A 2
Switzerland
Lorry Front collission
2 lorries
2 days 11 dead 13 lorries
4 vans
6 cars
Serious damage.
Closed 2 months
2003
14 April
Baregg
1 390 m
A 1
Switzerland
Lorry
Car
Fron-rear collission
A lorry drove into
the last car in a pile-up
  1 dead
5 injured
   
2005
4. June
Fréjus
12 895 m
T 2
France - Italy
1. load: Tyres
2. load Chese
3. load: scrap (2 dead)
4. load: glue
Diesel leakage in
lorry loaded with
tyres. Spread to 3
other lorries.
6 hours. Fire
extinguished
before it reached glue
load in 4th lorry
2 dead. 21 treated
for smoke
inhalation
4 lorries
3 fire fighting
vehicles
Serious damage
Tunnel closed
2005
25 Dec

m
B 31
Germany
2 cars Front collission   5 dead  
2006
16. sept.
Viamala
742 m
A 13
Switzerland
Car + bus Front collission   6 dead
6 injured
1 bus
2 cars

2007
23 Mar.
Burnley
3400 m

Australia
3 lorries
4 cars
Rear-end collission   3 dead  
2007
10 Sep.
San Martino
4 800 m
SS 36
Italy
Lorry A lorry crashed into the wall and caught fire   2 dead
10 injured
 
2007
12 Oct.

m
I 5
USA
Lorries 2 lorries collided. Another 13 lorries crashed into the accident site and caugt fire  
10 injured
 
Sources:
CETU:
Incendies de tunnels routiers dans le monde, ayant occasionné des victimes ou degâts importants, sans matière dangereuse impliquée
PIARC: XVIIIth World Road Congress, Brussels 13-19 aept. 1987, Technical Comittee, Report No 5 Road Tunnels
PIARC: Fire and Smoke Control in Road Tunnels, 05.05.B - 1999
FHWA-RD-83-032 Prevention and Control of Highway Tunnel Fires (appendix)
 

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This page was last modified on November 14, 2008