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77 evacuated from Oslo tunnel due to fire

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77 evacuated from Oslo tunnel due to fire
One of the entrances to the Follobanen tunnel on June 8th. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB scanpix
16:38 CEST+02:00
A vehicle caught fire 3.5 kilometres into a railway tunnel near Oslo in the early hours of Friday, resulting in dozens of construction workers being evacuated.

The fire was not completely extinguished until Friday afternoon, Dagbladet reports.

Police received reports of the fire in the Follobanen tunnel, which is under construction, at 2:38am on Friday, the newspaper writes.

State rail operator Bane Nor reported at 2pm on Friday that the fire was extinguished, with clear-up work still ongoing at the scene.

“It was not a large fire, but there was a lot of smoke because of the burning tyres,” Oslo Fire Brigade leader Trond Hansen said in a press statement released by Bane Nor.

The blaze is reported to have broken out on a vehicle carrying concrete components for the construction, with both the engine and tyres catching alight.

Smoke given off by the burning tyres is reported to have forced firefighters back as they attempted to get close to the source of the flames.

Of 83 people who were working at the site when the fire broke out, 77 were evacuated according to fire services.

The 17 people closest to the source of the fire reacted to it by immediately leaving the area, Dagbladet writes, although it took over an hour before police were able to confirm their safety.

Tunnel construction company AGJV told the newspaper on Friday that all employees were in good shape.

“We have held drills for this many times, most recently in May, so the routine was well-practised. The evacuation therefore went according to plan,” the company’s press officer Line Fredriksen said.

The Follobanen tunnel will be 20 kilometres long when once completed. It was 60 percent complete as of March, according to Bane Nor, with building expected to finish in 2021.

READ ALSO: Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen

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