Sunday, March 28, 1999 Published at 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Mont Blanc tunnel systems 'inefficient'
Jean-Pierre Chevenement (centre) questioned safety measures
Warning systems in the Mont Blanc tunnel where at least 40 people lost their lives in a fire have been criticised by the French Interior Minister.
Jean-Pierre Chevenement said the systems seemed inadequate.
Police have arrived at the tunnel to begin the process of identifying the bodies of the victims.
"It seems that the cameras indicated a fire, but with all that smoke, they quickly had nothing of interest to show," he said.
The minister said an official inquiry into the blaze would report its findings on 31 May.
Flames engulfed a Belgian-registered truck carrying flour and margarine deep in the tunnel on Wednesday, and the fire quickly spread through the tunnel, which links France and Italy.
But the full extent of the disaster did not emerge until Friday when the fire was finally put out.
The commander of the French rescue operations, Philippe Pathoux, said his firefighters had been horrified by the tragedy.
Officials expect the tunnel, underneath the 4,807-metre (15,863 ft) Mont Blanc will be closed for at least two months.