Fire Closes East Bay Tunnel as Drivers Flee Smoke

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A car fire in the tunnel that links Oakland to other east San Francisco Bay area communities has sent motorists streaming out of their cars on foot and seven people to the hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.

California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill said the fire that broke out in an eastbound lane of the Caldecott Tunnel Friday morning was extinguished within an hour.

Hill says officials are using the tunnel's ventilation system to clear the thick smoke that filled the channel and hoped to have traffic moving normally once drivers returned to their abandoned vehicles.

A section of the three-bore tunnel that carries cars toward San Francisco in the morning was rerouted early to ease congestion.

In 1982, a fire in the Caldecott Tunnel caused by a collision between a gas tanker and several other vehicles left seven people dead.

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