High-octane cheese fire closes Norway tunnel

Reuters / A truckload of burning cheese closed a road tunnel in Arctic Norway for several days after an accident Jan. 17.

Some 27 tonnes of flaming brown cheese (brunost), a Norwegian delicacy, blocked off a three-km tunnel near the northern coastal town of Narvik when it caught fire. The fire was finally put out four days later.

“This high concentration of fat and sugar is almost like petrol if it gets hot enough,” said Viggo Berg, a policeman.

Brown cheese is made from whey, contains up to 30 per cent fat and has a caramel taste.

“I didn’t know that brown cheese burns so well,” said Kjell Bjoern Vinje at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

He added that in his 15 years in the administration, this was the first time cheese had caught fire on Norwegian roads.

Berg said that no one was injured in the fire, only one other vehicle was in the area at the time and that the accident had luckily happened close to one of the tunnel’s exits.

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