Europe

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 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The tunnel is a vital north-south link through the Alps

One of Europe's main transport routes, the Gotthard road tunnel in Switzerland, was shut for several hours after 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 morning local time.

The tunnel, which runs under the Alps, reopened at 1430 GMT, police said.

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. The tunnel 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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