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Commuters Escape Fire Following In Crash Caldecott Tunnel

ORINDA (CBS SF) -- One eastbound bore of the Caldecott Tunnel was closed for the early portion of the commute Monday morning after a collision between two vehicles sent smoke billowing from the far right bore.

The collision was first reported at 6:43 a.m. and one vehicle was reported on fire. The CHP issued a Sig-alert at 6:47 a.m. for bore No. 1 of the tunnel.

The car fire filled the tunnel with smoke, forcing people out of their cars and out of the tunnel as quickly as possible.

RAW VIDEO: Orinda Firefighter Helmet-Cam Footage Inside Caldecott Tunnel

"They put me on oxygen. I'm just glad that there was nobody in the car that went up because that's some scary stuff," he said. Giordano said the smoke was thick, black and noxious. "My lungs were kind of burning a little bit. My eyes were fine. Some people were hacking and coughing."

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Caltrans spokesman Sean Wilkenfeld said they had just practiced an emergency drill at the scene two weeks ago.

The Caldecott Tunnel connects Oakland to Orinda on state Highway 24. Smoke could be seen pouring from vents above the roadway during the incident:

About 60 people were evacuated from the scene, and could be seen waiting for a shuttle to get back to their cars.  The fire appeared to be out around 7:30. There were no serious injuries.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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