Scare closes tunnel

2009-07-27 16:30

Rome - Italian authorities closed the world famous Mont Blanc tunnel briefly on Monday after seven French maintenance workers were treated for the effects of fume poisoning, rescue services said.

The 12km Alpine tunnel, the scene of a 1999 fire in which around 40 people were killed, was closed to traffic for around an hour before re-opening mid-morning.

"The tunnel was closed as a precaution to allow time for air quality tests to be carried out which did not reveal anything," a spokesperson for the fire service said.

The spokesperson said that the impact of the poisoning on the workers had only been slight.

"Three were treated at the scene and the others were flown by helicopter to the hospital at Aosta but they were discharged very quickly," he said.