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Drivers led to safety in Birmingham city centre as serious crash and car fire in A38 tunnel

By James Vukmirovic | Birmingham | News | Published:

Fifty cars had to be evacuated when a fire broke out in a city centre tunnel following a serious crash.

The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK

Fire crews, ambulance staff and tunnel maintenance engineers led around 20 people to safety following the car fire near The Mailbox, which saw the A38 in Birmingham closed in both directions.

The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK
The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK

A paramedic had to be taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation while leading people to safety.

The blaze happened in the Queensway tunnel on the northbound route near Holloway Circus at around 7pm last night, leaving the road shut between St Chad's and Holloway Circus.

The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK
The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK

An ambulance from Erdington Hub was not far behind it when it happened and was caught up along with around 50 cars inside the tunnel.

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Crowds of onlookers watched as one of the tunnels was sealed off as officers worked.

A fire service tweet stated around 50 cars were within the tunnel, but only one was involved in the fire.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The crew immediately informed control requesting the fire service and then went to check on the driver of the car who had managed to get out himself.

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The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK

“They then helped escort other drivers from the tunnel so that the fire service could deal with the fire.

“A second ambulance and a paramedic officer were also sent to the scene.

“The driver of the car, a man in his 20s, was assessed at the scene but was unhurt and was discharged.

“The paramedic from the ambulance, also in his 20s, was assessed by the crew of the second ambulance and was taken to Heartlands Hospital as a precaution but was later discharged.”

The scene in Birmingham. Pic: SnapperSK

Drivers heading for Birmingham on the A38 were advised to take alternative routes and motorists not already in the tunnels directed away from the area.

After crews searched the tunnels and said all persons were accounted for, the tunnel was vented and cleared of smoke and crews began to form a plan to reopen the tunnels

The tunnels have now been reopened.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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