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Tunnel fires snarl traffic in Geneva and Zurich

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The Local - [email protected]
Tunnel fires snarl traffic in Geneva and Zurich
Photo: City of Geneva fire department

Separate motor vehicle fires in motorway tunnels caused massive pileups in Geneva and Zurich during the evening rush hours on Wednesday.

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In the canton of Geneva caught fire around 5am in the Vernier tunnel on the motorway to Lausanne, leading to the closure of the roadway in both directions.

The driver was unhurt in the blaze although he was taken to hospital for a check.

The city of Geneva fire department put the fire out, 20 Minutes newspaper reported.

Officials closed the tunnel in both directions in order to ventilate the smoke.

The motorway was reopened to traffic heading to France at around 6.30pm but the lanes heading to Lausanne were not cleared for traffic until later.

Meanwhile, the Gubrist tunnel in Zurich was closed in both directions, backing up traffic for several kilometres, after a car caught fire there shortly before 5pm, the SDA news agency reported.

No-one was reported hurt but the tunnel, part of the A1 motorway, was temporarily closed off.

Caught in the traffic was a bus carrying players for the Kloten Flyers ice hockey team en route to the Swiss capital to play SC Bern in the Swiss Ice Hockey Cup Final, 20 Minuten reported.

The holdup meant the game at the PostFinance Arena started late at 8.30pm, the newspaper said. 

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