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Elon Musk unveils his first Los Angeles-area tunnel

LOS ANGELES: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk made a brief public appearance late on Tuesday to unveil the first tunnel completed by the underground transit venture he launched two years ago as an ambitious remedy to Los Angeles’ infamously heavy traffic. But contrary to some of his own hype from several months ago, free rides were not part of the grand opening. In a 30-minute presentation carried by live webcast, Musk touted the newly finished 1.14-mile (1.83 km) tunnel segment as a breakthrough in low-cost,…

‘No chance’ for trapped Iran miners

TEHRAN: Iranian officials said Friday there was "no chance" of saving nine coal miners trapped for the past two days after a tunnel collapse that has already claimed at least 26 lives. Toxic gases have filled much of the two-kilometre (mile) Zemestan Yort mine in northern Iran, and rescue workers face a painstaking effort to clear the fragile passage in which the remaining workers were trapped after a huge explosion. "There is no chance of workers being alive in the mine," said Deputy Interior Minister Esmail Nadjar,…

Norway to build world’s first ship tunnel at sea

OSLO: Norway on Wednesday unveiled plans to build the world's first sea tunnel to pass through a mountain, avoiding dangerous waters that intimidated even the Vikings. Built to bypass the Stad peninsula, a storm-swept area in western Norway, the Stad ship tunnel will be 1.7 kilometres (one mile) long and 36 meters wide, making journeys safer. "The Stad tunnel for boats will finally be built," said Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen, presenting a comprehensive transport plan for the period 2018-2029. "The…

Thai cops find tunnel in manhunt for elderly monk

BANGKOK: Thai cops have uncovered secret tunnels running underneath a space-age temple of the controversial Dhammakaya Buddhist sect, as their manhunt for an elusive elderly monk accused of massive embezzlement entered a second day. Thousands of officers are involved in the search for the 72-year-old monk Phra Dhammachayo, who is believed to be holed up in the vast Wat Dhammakaya temple grounds on the outskirts of Bangkok. The former abbot, who founded the breakaway Buddhist order in 1970 and has marshalled its…

World’s longest tunnel opens regular service in Switzerland

GENEVA:Regular rail service through the world's longest tunnel began on Sunday, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.  The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) had a ceremonial opening in June, attracting European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for its maiden ride. The Swiss national rail service (SBB) had announced that Sunday would mark the start of normal commercial traffic through the 57-kilometre (35-mile) GBT, which took 17 years to…