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Burning truck on the A71 behind the Rennsteig tunnel

Photo: Thuringia Police/dpa

In Thuringia, a driver drove his burning truck for kilometers through a motorway tunnel. The 41-year-old remained uninjured, as the responsible motorway police station announced on Friday. By steering his vehicle loaded with nine cars out of the tunnel, the man probably prevented something worse from happening.

On Friday night, the truck driver reportedly noticed in the Rennsteig tunnel on the A71 that a tire on the trailer had caught fire. He stopped the truck and tried to put out the burning tire. When this failed, the driver pressed an emergency call button in a breakdown bay and drove off again.

Fire spreads to the trailer

According to the police, the fire spread to the entire trailer on the way to the tunnel exit, which was about six kilometers away. At the last second, the driver managed to drive the truck out of the tunnel. He then jumped out of the vehicle to get to safety.

According to the information, a total of six of the nine loaded vehicles were caught in the fire. The tunnel fire department extinguished the fire.

The A71 was initially completely closed at the level of the tunnel until Friday morning, it was said. At around 8 a.m. a lane in the direction of Sangerhausen was reopened. According to the police, the second lane should remain closed until 10:30 a.m. for clean-up work. The damage is currently estimated at around 250,000 euros.