mont blanc tunnel fire victims names
The tunnel is equipped with the following safety facilities: Every 100 m portable fire extinguishers Every 300 m garages Five tunnel fires, all in Europe, resulted in 72 deaths. douard Balladur, former president of the French company operating the tunnel (from 1968 to 1980), and later Prime Minister of France, underwent a witness examination. In the Mont-Blanc fire in March 1999, the asphalt road . For each and every one, a non-profit association or event is established. On 3/24/1999 the Mont Blanc Tunnel fire occurred when a truck carrying 12 tons of flour and 9 tons of margarine entered the French side of the 7.2-mile tunnel connecting France and Italy in the Alps. Mont Blanc Tunnel, major Alpine automotive tunnel connecting France and Italy. Thirty-nine people were killed. Unlike long- distance road and rail tunnels built more recently, it has just one bore and two lanes, one each for northbound and southbound traffic. Shortly after, the driver realized something was wrong as cars coming in the opposite direction flashed their headlights at him; a glance in his mirrors showed white smoke coming out from under his cabin. They were blocked at garage 22 and had also abandoned their vehicles, and searched for trapped groups of firefighters who had taken refuge in the fire cubicles. In the Mont Blanc tunnel fire in 1999, for example, over 20 lorries were destroyed, and several people lost their lives. Although several lines of vehicles can queue up at the toll station, only a limited number of vehicles per unit time is allowed to transit the tunnel to ensure a safety distance between them. The Mont-Blanc Tunnel, promoter of safety at international level Mont Blanc and its valleys Territory and open air A cultural crossroads Partnerships History Unitary tunnel management Corporate structure Women and men Important projects and works Details (suppliers, calls for bids, tenders and contracts) Traffic statistics Financial data News At the time, considering that four years had already gone by since the fire, I concluded that French and Italian bureaucrats were deliberately dragging the investigation out, to keep the records sealed, so that neither side would ever have to accept blame. The safe havens were designed to protect motorists from a fire for only two hours. Around 11 a.m., a Volvo FH12 tractor-trailer, registered in Belgium, stopped to pay the toll. The director of the tunnel company, Remi Chardon, said earlier that at least 17 and up to 30 people were feared to have died.  Surveillance cameras were installed in 1978.   The truck came through the tollbooth at 10:46 CET. Then on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, this year, I was commissioned to write a feature for, , looking back on the fire as the worlds most closely examined road disaster. All the vehicles destroyed appear to have been trapped in the inferno that followed, estimated by officials to have reached a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. Four years later, in 2003, I was living in France. greater awareness among users (car and truck drivers) on how to behave in emergency situations. , a feature on him, but I never heard back from the editor. The central ventilation hangar on the Italian side helps control the air in the tunnel. A trial has opened in France to establish responsibility for a fire in the Mont Blanc tunnel which killed 39 people almost six years ago. Seven other trucks piled up behind. Abstract and Figures. Forty-one people died in the March 24 fire in the Mont Blanc tunnel connecting France with Italy, which burned for two days. But Id taken pride in this story for so long. The Miami tunnel is a twin-bore tunnel, with a separate passageway for traffic in each direction. They were eventually rescued via a ventilation duct. The fire burned for 50 hours. The fire burned for fifty-three hours and was estimated to have reached a temperature of 1,000C (1,830F), mainly because of the margarine load in the trailer, equivalent to a 23,000-litre (5,100impgal; 6,100USgal) oil tanker. The US magazine Rider ran an abridged version the next year. 10-trip package: 163.30; Valid for 2 years in addition to the validation month. All the deceased were on the French side, and were ultimately reduced to bones and ash by the intense heat. Spadino might have seen something, or heard something from one of the drivers exiting the tunnel, that made him suspect that a truck was in trouble. The data base used for the calculations are enclosed in Appendix 3 (collisions) and Appendix 4 (fires) respectively. The tunnel, opened with great fanfare in 1965, is seven miles long. At 10:57 and 10:59, two fire trucks from Chamonix responded to the unfolding disaster. Then I discovered it wasn't true", Italian decoration "Medaglia d'Oro al Valore Civile", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pierlucio_Tinazzi&oldid=1143687156, Dying while trying to rescue survivors of the, This page was last edited on 9 March 2023, at 07:59. The October 2001 fire caused 11 unnecessary fatalities. Following a fire in 1999 in which 39 people died, which showed how lack of coordination could hamper the safety of the tunnel, all the operations are managed by a single entity: MBT-EEIG, controlled by both ATMB and SITMB together, through a 5050 shares distribution.. Other name(s): Tunnel du Mont-Blanc: Beginning of works: 1957: Completion: 19 July 1965: Status: in use Project Type. . It began on March 24, 1999 when a Volvo FH12 semi-truck from Belgium, carrying a cargo of nine tons of margarine and 12 tons of flour, stopped to pay the toll at the French portal of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The narrow tunnel turned into a furnace. When built, it was the worlds longest road tunnel, linking the French and Italian highway systems and shortening truck routes between Italys industrial north and other parts of Europe. I was not alone in making Spadino a hero. In all the years since, no reader ever emailed, or phoned, or tweeted a skeptical thought. It reduces the route from France to Turin by 50 kilometres (30 miles) and to Milan by 100km (60mi). An alternative route for road traffic between France to Italy is the Frjus Road Tunnel. In the United States, the National Fire Protection Association publishes a document with a dry title but life-or-death consequences: NFPA 502: Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges and Other Limited Access Highways.. But I never really dug back into it. In his last radio communication with the control room, Mr. Tinazzi said he had dragged the trucker into a fire refuge off the main tunnel. Mr. Connell served as chairman of the associations technical committee on tunnel safety from 2005 until 2015. I suppose I sympathize with any editor who chose to downplay a correction, after a devastated region had drawn inspiration from so unlikely a hero. Similar information is given in Routes/Roads 324 "A comparative analysis of the Mont-Blanc, Tauern and Gotthard tunnel fires" (Oct. 2004) onp 24. While the legend of the biker was exaggerated, the horror of the fire there 20 years ago and its impact on tunnel safety cannot be overstated.CreditSamuel Zeller for The New York Times.  He was also given a special gold medal by the motorcycle sport governing body Fdration Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). In 2010, the average traffic volume was 4,945 vehicles per day, or around 1.80 million vehicles per year. Theyd already made several annual pilgrimages to the tunnel in his honor. It was immediately obvious, as I began to read, that Spadino couldnt have saved anyone. The driver, who had been alerted to a problem by oncoming vehicles, stopped almost in the middle of the 7.2-mile tunnel. The seven-mile-long bore, linking France and Italy, carries up to 4,000 trucks a day, many times the level of traffic for which it was designed in the early 1960s. In 1997, a fire detection system was installed along with centralized safety equipment management, and new variable message signs. Not your archetypal biker. A strong breeze created a blast-furnace effect, igniting the fuel in other abandoned vehicles. At this spot, it lies 2,480 metres (8,140ft) beneath the surface, making it the world's second deepest operational tunnel after the Gotthard Base Tunnel. It includes heat detectors that can locate a fire to within 10 feet, and, as in Miami, a deluge system can dump several tropical rainstorms worth of water into a fire zone, while leaving the rest of the tunnel dry. A French engineer, Jean-Marc Berthier, led development of a unified safety protocol for the Franco-Italian venture, and served as the tunnels administrator for the next few years. Pierlucio Tinazzi, the biker nicknamed Spadino. Mont Blanc Tunnel is a tunnel and road tunnel that was built from 1957 until 1965. Here all trucks are inspected well before the tunnel entrance. . As I write this, Ive spent the last week going back over 76 pages of handwritten notes I made on that trip. They warned in a report that the ventilation system would be hopelessly inadequate if a serious accident happened far from a tunnel mouth. The last people to safely escape the tunnel in the direction of France told the investigators they thought he was trying to catch up to the burning truck. The middle of the tunnel today looking toward Italy. The driver stopped, about three miles from daylight in both directions, and with a mile of solid rock above him. The International Motorcycle Federation, the world governing body of motorcycle sport, presented its highest award to his family. For the first time, I began to worry. A statement from the Mont Blanc Tunnel and Autoroute, made up of the French and Italian agencies that operate the tunnel, said today that ''despite extreme difficulties in counting the. Brian Russell, the civil engineer who served as project manager on the S.R. So there was a motorcycle guy who died in the fire, and a motorcycle guy who rescued several people; they just werent the same person. what happens if you snitch on the cartelmont blanc tunnel fire victims names. An Italian or French-language search for the heros name, yielded posts that were a lot more circumspect when it came to describing Tinazzis actions that day. and the presence of over 400 people in . Please join the Patreon to keep the channel. By 11:11, more Italian firefighters had come to tackle the fire. Conclusions drawn from the enquiry following the Mont Blanc tunnel fire were that fatal consequences could be greatly reduced by: After the fire of March 24th 1999, the Mont Blanc tunnel required significant renovation before it was able to be reopened to traffic. The Fdration Internationale de Motocyclisme the worldwide governing body for motorcycle sport posthumously awarded him a specially cast solid gold medal for motorcycle merit. Sure enough, in December 2017, a car erupted into flames in the tunnel. Without other possibilities, they abandoned their vehicles and took refuge in two of the emergency fire cubicles (fire-door sealed small rooms set into the walls every 600 metres). [Read the original Times coverage of the 1999 fire at the Mont Blanc Tunnel.]. A year after the fire, thousands of bikers gathered at the Italian portal to commemorate him. . And he soft-pedaled his actions in the days after the fire, because he didnt want to take anything away from Tinazzis sacrifice. 99 Tunnel carries two stacked roadbeds, in an immense single-bore tunnel under downtown, running for nearly two miles. The tunnel, opened with great fanfare in 1965, is seven miles long. Tunnel Inferno is the 2nd episode of Seconds from Disaster and explores the causes of one of the worst tunnel fires.  Renovations include computerized detection equipment, extra security bays, a parallel escape shaft and a fire station in the middle of the tunnel complete with double-cabbed fire trucks. Smoke from the area around the truck's cab was detected by a tunnel smoke Organise and calculate tunnel transit. Some lessons learned can be given as examples, such as: However, it is not possible to give generally applicable recommendations on the basis of these findings because these may be different in dependence of the specific conditions of an individual country and an individual tunnel. The fire burned for 50 hours. These topics are also addressed systematically in thetechnical report 2016 R35 Experience with Significant Incidents in Road Tunnels. In the end, we all believe in the things that help us get through our days. These remote sites are also used as staging areas, to smooth the peaks of commercial traffic. The tunnel is a single bore two-lane tunnel with the shape of a horseshoe with a 7m wide roadway and two 0.8 walkways on either side. I would never have traveled to Val dAosta in search of the heros backstory. In school, his classmates called him Spadino the Italian word for rapier because hed been such a skinny kid. Maybe like Italian motorcycle magazines, the newspapers quietly started telling the truth about him, without ever admitting the initial error. This channel is for documentaries for educational use. In the aftermath, major changes were made to the tunnel to improve its safety. Other victims were found in "sealed" safety refuges, built eight years ago.  Regardless, he followed a few other heavy trucks in. Some vehicles were still burning yesterday morning; others had been buried by rubble from the collapsed lining of the tunnel. The passageway is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes, particularly for Italy, which relies on this tunnel for transporting as much as one-third of its freight to northern Europe. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. These fumes quickly filled the tunnel and restricted oxygen, disabling vehicles including fire engines which, once affected, had to be abandoned by the firefighters. The tunnel opened to traffic on 19 July. The resulting fire burned for 52 hours and ended 41 lives. Concerns included impaired visibility for motorists as well as reliability and maintenance costs. At least 35 people died in the 1,800-degree inferno that erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel linking France and Italy . The larger trucks were stranded, as they did not have the space to turn around, and reversing out was not an option. Do not hesitate to send us your comments, questions and suggestions. Defendants in the trial included: The exact cause of the fire is disputed. Although hed lived in the close-knit Val dAosta region since birth, all most people knew about him was that he loved motorcycles, and rode at every opportunity. The next morning, digging deeper, I uncovered a 97-page, minute-by-minute account of the fire, produced by, Le Service Rgional de Police Judiciaire de Lyon. Of course now, Im embarrassed that it took me 14 years to correct the record. At 10:54, one of the drivers called from refuge 22 to raise the alarm. Create your free account to access the additional media materials and receive alerts when new contents are published. In fact, there had been 16 other truck fires in the tunnel over the previous 35 years, always extinguished on the spot by the drivers. It began on March 24, 1999 when a Volvo FH12 semi-truck from Belgium, carrying a cargo of nine tons of margarine and 12 tons of flour, stopped to pay the toll at the French portal of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Other vehicles traveling through the tunnel quickly became trapped and they also caught fire as firefighters were unable to reach the transport truck. He tells me, That legend had been woven by the Italian media before anyone knew exactly what had really happened. Both French and Italian firefighters criticised the ventilation system, unchanged since the tunnel was built and attacked in an official report last year. The memorial on the French side honoring the 39 people who died in the tunnel blaze. THE 2001 GOTTHARD ROAD TUNNEL FIRE With its single tube of 17 km in length, roughly 7 million vehicles per year and an average of 4,000 trucks each working day, the Gotthard road tunnel is undoubtedly overstressed. the legal notices related to the use of my personal data. The told and retold story that, before finding Lebras, Spadino had exited to safety and returned over and over, rescuing 10 other people had been publicly debunked by the French judicial police in 2005. I set out to write a biographical sketch of an unlikely hero. At one point, I mentioned that wed never had a fire, and he banged his hand on the table and said, Yet!. It gives me comfort that my portrait of Spadino was accurate, even if my account of what he did during the fire was not. He was, unromantically, driving a Renault Express minivan. Others blamed a mechanical or electrical fault, or poor maintenance of the truck's engine. Their commanding officer died at a nearby hospital. Remy Chardon, former president of the French company operating the tunnel, was convicted and received a two-year suspended jail term; he was also fined approximately. It is 11.7 km (7.3 miles) long and crosses under the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc. Le tunnel des Tauern a t ouvert en 1975, celui du St. Gothard en 1980. , The tunnel underwent extensive modernisation works in 1990, including the addition of safety features such new video surveillance cameras, 8 pressurized emergency shelters, a sprinkler system and other safety maintenance. Thats the one magazine every other motorcycle editor reads, and so several more ran it in translation. We have recently seen the 18th anniversary of one of the most serious road tunnel incidents in Europe, when on 24 March 1999, in the Mont Blanc tunnel, a vehicle carrying flour and margarine was involved in a deadly fire which claimed so many lives. As the trucks cargo burned, it produced dense, toxic smoke that billowed back towards France. A detailed description of the Mont Blanc, Tauern and St. Gotthard fires including the original configuration of the tunnels, and a step-by-step guide to the incident, fire progression, and the behaviour of operators, emergency services and users, as well as the lessons to be drawn can be found in the technical report 05.16B Systems and Its not clear whether he suspected trouble or thought he was making a routine trip back to the Italian portal. It is one of the major trans-alpine routes, and up to a third of Italy's freight passed through it, with 766,000 heavy goods vehicles using the tunnel in 1998. There were 29 deaths of people trapped inside of vehicles, and nine more died trying to escape on foot. Between 10:53 and 10:57, the smoke had already covered half a kilometre of the French side. The refuge had a fire door rated to a four-hour standard. In 2016, we had Jean-Marc perform a safety review of the Port of Miami Tunnel, Mr. Hodgkins recalls. However, most studies of fire toxicity have been regarding lethality, for . Start your Independent Premium subscription today. 38 road users and a fireman lost their lives in the . The system proved utterly incapable of pumping in cold air or removing the thick fumes from the burning margarine and flour and the loads of the other blazing trucks, including, it is believed, a tanker containing chlorine. The Italian company [that administered that end of the tunnel] also wanted an Italian hero, because they knew that as legal responsibility for the disaster was assigned, they were in opposition to the French company.. Under the Mont Blancmountain range is a 11,6 km(around 7.2 miles) long road tunnel, connecting Francewith Italy. The opening was successful, with an axis variation of less than 13 centimetres (5 inches).