Homer Tunnel fire: Tourists on way back to Te Anau

Fire crews inspect the charred vehicle inside the Homer Tunnel earlier today. Photo: Te Anau...
Fire crews inspect the charred vehicle inside the Homer Tunnel earlier today. Photo: Te Anau Volunteer Fire Brigade
Fiordland's Homer Tunnel has reopened after a vehicle fire, forcing the closure of part of a state highway and stranding 500 tourists in Milford Sound.

Emergency services were called to the tunnel on the Milford Road (SH 94) about 3.45pm today after a vehicle caught fire inside it.  However, no one was injured.

A Fire and Emergency spokesman said three crews from Te Anau and two from Milford Sound attended and the tunnel was evacuated and then closed.

The tunnel was closed for several hours after the incident. Photo: Te Anau Volunteer Fire Brigade
The tunnel was closed for several hours after the incident. Photo: Te Anau Volunteer Fire Brigade
The New Zealand Transport Agency said a safety assessment was made and the tunnel reopened about 7.35pm.

The Homer Tunnel is the only road access to Milford Sound, a popular tourist destination.

About 500 tourists were left stranded there earlier in the day and were expected back in Te Anau later tonight.

The Otago Daily Times was told tour operators put on free tea, coffee and food on tour operators' boats or in the terminal building while waiting for the tunnel to reopen.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 3.45pm. Photo: Milford Road/NZTA
Emergency services were called to the scene at 3.45pm. Photo: Milford Road/NZTA

Milford Sound Tourism staff could not be contacted, but a Real Journeys spokeswoman said the response had gone "as smoothly as it could".

"Everyone was happy and obviously they'll be very happy when they can make it home."

NZTA advised road users to expect short delays on Wednesday.

- Staff reporters 

The Homer Tunnel is the only road access to Milford Sound, a popular tourist destination. Photo:...
The Homer Tunnel is the only road access to Milford Sound, a popular tourist destination. Photo: Getty Images/ file

 

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg