Thursday, July 8, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Tunnel blaze report highlights failings
The blaze trapped drivers in an inferno
An official report into the fire in the Mont Blanc tunnel between France and Italy, in which 39 people died in March, has criticised the level of co-ordination between the two countries.
The fire trapped around 40 vehicles in dense and poisonous smoke.
The report, put together by a team of experts from both countries, has made 41 recommendations but does not attribute blame to any individual.
It says a technical supervisor on the Italian side of the tunnel "worsened the situation" after the fire broke out on 23 March by letting fresh air into the tunnel instead of extracting smoke, as was planned under emergency procedures.
Amongst the recommendations for improving safety were calls for:
But the report says the investigators were uncertain whether the deaths would have been avoided had the safety procedures been followed.
The tunnel is due to reopen in the next few months, but a local group with 1,800 members - the Association for the Respect of the Mont Blanc Site - is calling for lorries to be banned from using the tunnel.
After the tragedy, French Interior Minister, Jean-Pierre Chevenement, criticised the tunnel's security cameras for apparently not being up to the challenge of such a fire.
The report concludes that building a second tunnel to separate traffic is desirable but impractical.