Burning brown cheese closes tunnel
January 22, 2013
A tunnel in Northern Norway is likely to remain closed for another few weeks because of a smoldering mound of Norway’s ubiquitous sweet brown cheese, officials said Monday. The tunnel in Tysfjord, Nordland County, already has been closed for five days, since fire broke out on a truck that was transporting the cheese.
The messy drama began last Thursday, when the driver of the truck noticed that his cargo of 27 tons of brown cheese being hauled on a trailer was on fire. The truck was driving south inside the 3.6-kilometer-long Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord and the driver managed to escape the blaze.
The burning trailer-truck remained parked inside the tunnel, around 300-meters from its southern entrance. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the cheese was still burning on Monday and has caused extensive damage inside the tunnel.
Highway officials said it was still too dangerous to enter the tunnel because of potentially lethal gases created by the smoldering cheese, which has a molasses-like content. “We can’t go in until it’s safe,” geologist Wiggo Aronsen of Statens vegvesen told NRK.
When the cheese finally stops smoldering, highway crews will need to clean up the tunnel and repair damage. Officials estimated the tunnel thus would remain closed for two to three weeks.