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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
In Pictures: Swiss tunnel horror
At least 10 people have been killed and several others injured by a fire in the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland after a head-on lorry crash.

Thick black smoke has been billowing from the scene - created by the burning tyres that one of the lorries was carrying. Many drivers are thought to be trapped inside the tunnel, as rescuers are driven back by the fumes and intense heat.

Lorries stuck outside Gotthard tunnel in Airolo, Switzerland
Lorries were stranded outside the tunnel as black smoke poured from the entrance

Firefighters stand next to their vehicles
The intense heat and smoke prevented rescuers reaching the scene for hours

Members of the fire brigade work at the scene of the accident
They had to battle with intense heat and zero visibility

A blaze rages at the mouth of the tunnel
The blaze was fierce but officials said safety features prevented a much worse accident

Paramedics carry a casualty into a rescue helicopter at the southern portal of the tunnel
Several people were rushed to hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation

Lorries blocked by the fire
The tunnel sees heavy traffic and police fear the death toll will rise
See also:

24 Oct 01 | Europe
Alps tunnels' record of danger
28 May 01 | Europe
Lorry fire closes Alpine tunnel
27 Mar 99 | Europe
Tunnel inferno 'warning ignored'
26 Apr 00 | UK
Tyne tunnel safety slated
27 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Switzerland
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