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Timetable for the disaster

COVER STORY

24th March

10.52 Smoke dector alerts operators at French end of tunnel.

10.53 TV monitors in French control room show smoke in tunnel.

10.54 TV monitors in Italian control room show smoke in tunnel

Fire alarm sounded throughout tunnel.

10.55 French tunnel employee gets to within 750m of burning lorry from French end. Smoke stops him from getting closer.

10.57 Italian tunnel employee gets to within 300m of burning lorry. Again turned back by smoke.

Smoke stops in-house French fire fighters from getting closer than 1.2km to the burning truck. Fire engine trapped.

10.58 Savoy region fire department receives fire call.

10.59 Small in-house French fire rescue truck stopped by smoke 1.2km from the burning truck.Both are trapped.

11.00 Tunnel employee gets to within 300m of the blaze from Italian end of the tunnel.

11.01 Italian in-house fire truck gets to within 300m of blaze. Rescues 12 lorry drivers.

11.02 Val d'Aoste regional fire department receives fire call.

11.10 Regional fire engine arrives from Chamonix. Driven back by smoke 2.7km from the blaze.

By now, 39 motorists trapped in the tunnel are assumed to have died.

11.11 Val d'Aost regional fire engine arrives at Italian end. Unable to get closer than 300m to the seat of the blaze.

11.36 Second fire engine arrives from Chamonix. Driven back by smoke 4.8km from the blaze.

11.40 Second Val d'Aost fire engine arrives. Unable to get closer than 900m to blaze.

Rescue effort now focused on rescuing trapped firemen sheltering in fire shelters.

18.35 Last of 17 firemen rescued. One later dies of a heart attack.

25th March

Evening Series of unsuccessful attempts to get fire under control

26th March

am Italians extinguish fires in furthest trucks from blaze.

26th March

16.00 Fire under control. Efforts to cool tunnel down begin.

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