Gotthard tunnel is wired with explosives - Swiss army

The Swiss army has admitted the Gotthard Tunnel has explosives embedded at its entrance.

The explosives are wired to be blown up should anyone try to invade the country.

Ten people died in the tunnel last week following a road crash which caused a fire.

Army officials say it is not the only important entry route into Switzerland which is ready to be collapsed if someone invades.

Temperatures in the tunnel deep under the Alps reached 1,000C during the blaze.

Swiss army spokesman Colonel Urs Caduff says explosives were buried in the rock near the entrance. Although they were ordered to be removed weeks ago, they were still there at the time of the crash.

He is promising all explosives will be removed by the time the tunnel linking Switzerland and Italy is reopened, at around Easter time.

Mr Caduff insisted: "The detonators were stored in special secured areas separately from the charges. There was no danger of explosion at any time during the accident."

He says the order to remove them was given for tactical reasons by Swiss chief of staff Hans-Ulrich Scherrer. He has also ordered removal of explosives at other vital entry and exit transport bottlenecks.

The death toll in the tunnel disaster has been revised down from 11 to 10 after workers finally managed to reach the "red zone" of destruction in the tunnel.

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