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Mont Blanc Tunnel

The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Alps between France and Italy.

The two most famous cities near Mont Blanc are Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France and Courmayeur, Valle d'Aosta[?], Italy. Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 kilometer (7.25 mile) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two cities. It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes particularly for Italy who rely on the tunnel for shipping as much as one-third of their freight to northern Europe.

In 1999, 39 people died when a fire erupted in the 8.6 meter wide tunnel when a Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire. The fire, reaching temperatures of 1,000C, trapped around 40 vehicles in dense and poisonous smoke. As a result, the tunnel was closed for three years while numerous safety features were installed.

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