Five die in tragic tunnel fire in western Norway
Five persons died when two cars collided head-on and caught fire in the Eiksund undersea road tunnel on Sunnmøre Sunday evening, according to the local highway police. The cause of the accident is not known.
The two cars involved were from the hamlets of Ørsta and Ulstein, at either end of the tunnel. The victims are Sigbjørn Tødenes (52) from Ulsteinvik, Øystein Hovden (23) from Hovdebygda, Jan-Erik Eriksen (28) and Frode Takset (23), both from Ørsta, and Tore Engeset (30) from Folkestad in Volda.
The Eiksund Tunnel is a link between the Norwegian mainland and Hareidlandet Island, off the Møre og Romsdal county coast. The tunnel is among Norway’s longest, at 7,765 metres, and is also the world’s deepest sub-sea road tunnel, running 287 metres below sea level at the deepest point.
The tunnel was opened fot traffic on 23 February 2008. The tunnel carries three lanes of traffic. The average daily traffic through the Eiksund Tunnel is around 1,000 vehicles, 50% of which are trucks.