North-south traffic through the Alps may be significantly hindered following a head-on collision that produced a raging fire that killed at least 11 people in the Gotthard tunnel. The tunnel may be closed for months, reducing the capacity of an already diminished alpine highway system which has yet to recover from a similar fire in the Mount Blanc tunnel between France and Italy in 1999. That tunnel remains closed. Millions of vehicles use the Gotthard tunnel to get from Germany to Italy, and authorities are advising motorists to avoid the area because alternative routes cannot accommodate the traffic.