- Dozens also injured in accident inside Salang alpine tunnel.
- Tunnel closed for traffic amid fear of increase in casualties.
- Islamic Emirate insists on efforts to prevent similar incidents.
KABUL: An accident in the landmark Salang alpine tunnel that connects Afghanistan's capital to its north killed at least 12 people and injured dozens, authorities said Sunday.
Thirty-seven people were injured in the accident in Salang Tunnel, located about 90km north of Kabul, according to Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, deputy spokesperson for the Taliban-run administration.
“The Islamic Emirate expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and … it also calls on all relevant agencies to make more and serious efforts to prevent the recurrence of such terrible incidents,” Ahmadi said.
Local broadcasterTolo, citing the Ministry of Public Works, said a fuel truck had overturned and caught fire in the tunnel on Saturday night. The blaze had been extinguished on Sunday but the tunnel was closed to traffic and casualties could rise, according to the Ministry spokesperson.
The 2.6km long Soviet-built tunnel is a historic engineering feat that links Kabul and Afghanistan's north, connecting the Indian subcontinent to Central Asia through a treacherous mountain pass at 3,400 metres.