Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD

Timeline: Past tunnel disasters

Gotthard is expected to remain closed for several weeks
Gotthard is expected to remain closed for several weeks  

AIROLO, Switzerland -- With at least 11 people known to have died, the Gotthard road tunnel disaster is one of the worst of its kind.

This disaster joins a growing list of similar incidents in recent years.


October 24 -- Two lorries collide in Switzerland's Gotthard tunnel killing at least 11 people and causing a fire filling the world's second-longest tunnel with black smoke. Parts of the 16.9 km (10.6 mile) tunnel roof collapse.

October 17 -- A pig transport lorry crashes into a line of cars in heavy fog near the entrance to the the Guldborg Sound tunnel between the islands of Lolland and Falster, near the town of Sakskoebing, in southern Denmark, killing five.

May 28 -- A lorry catches fire in the tunnel leading from Turin to Bardonecchia in northwest Italy.

The vehicle bursts into flames and 14 people are taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.


The remains of the Austrian funicular in which 159 people died
The remains of the Austrian funicular in which 159 people died  

November 11 -- At least 159 people are killed when fire engulfs a funicular train packed with skiers in a tunnel on Austria's 3,200-metre (10,500-foot) Kitzsteinhorn mountain.

August 8 -- A rush-hour bomb blast rips through a Moscow underpass leading from an underground railway station at central Pushkin Square killing at least 13 people and injuring 90.

June 10 -- At least 58 people, mostly tourists, are injured when two cog-wheeled trains collide in a single-track tunnel on the outskirts of the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen near Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze.


May 29 -- Twelve people die in a fire following a collision involving cars and a lorry loaded with paint in the Tauern tunnel under the Alps southeast of Salzburg trapping about 50 motorists.

The Tauern is a 6.4-km (four-mile) long Alpine tunnel between Flachau and St Michael, which carries a major road link between Germany and Italy.

March 24 -- Thirty-nine people are killed in a fire that traps at least 30 vehicles in the tunnel under Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain.

The Mont Blanc tunnel fire killed 39 people in 1999
The Mont Blanc tunnel fire killed 39 people in 1999  


November 18 -- Fire breaks out in a train carrying lorries through the Anglo-French Channel Tunnel, injuring 34 people.

February 10 -- A car and a bus are trapped when a huge rock plunges from a mountainside and smashes through a tunnel roof on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Twenty people are killed.


October 28 -- About 300 people are crushed and suffocated in an airless tunnel, when an underground railway train catches fire between Narimanov and Ulduz stations in central Baku, the Azerbaijan capital.


August 2 -- Twelve people are killed in a tunnel in Spain when a passenger train and a goods train collide near Vega de Anzo in the northern province of Asturias.


• Gotthard Tunnel

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top