Traffic came to a standstill at a key Alpine pass for hours Saturday in Austria as hundreds of holidaymakers attempted to get through a tunnel before it was blocked as a security measure for a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to neighbouring Slovenia.
Authorities in Austria reported a 7-kilometre long traffic backup in front of the Karawanks Tunnel, a key connection under the Alps between Austria and Slovenia. Many Western Europeans use the tunnel as a gateway on their way to Slovenia, Italy and Austria.
The tunnel had been scheduled to be closed from 11 am to 6 pm (0900 to 1600 GMT) due to Putin's visit to Slovenia, but the tourism crush meant it, effectively, was closed much earlier. The tunnel did reopen Saturday evening.