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The tunnel that kept running into trouble

Published onsdag 16 december 2015 kl 21.12
"It was like drinking plastic"
(0:46 min)
Rhoca gil, the chemical sealant that leaked into the groundwater and poisoned livestock. Photo: Markus Landén/Radio Sweden
Rhoca gil, the chemical sealant that leaked into the groundwater and poisoned livestock. Photo: Markus Landén/Radio Sweden

Trains have finally started running through the tunnel under Hallandsåsen ridge, but the memories of the over two decades of building it are still vivid in many people's minds.

It has been a long journey to get to this point, but now the Hallandsåsen tunnel is open for traffic. In Thursday's Radio Sweden Weekly we speak to the people who lived with the building of it for so many years.

It is a story about a proud engineering work that just kept running into trouble. A drill that got stuck in the ridge, water that started leaking into the tunnel and draining the local ground water, causing problems for households in the area.

And what many thought would be the final blow: the infamous chemical sealant that was supposed to stop the water from leaking into the tunnel, but ended up in the ground water, poisoning the livestock.

Farmer Tony Ivarsson remembers the day when he realised something was wrong.

"When I came home from my work, it was the last day of September, I saw something in the small river that we have here, and I said to myself; it looks strange, it cannot be right, something must be wrong. So I walked down to taste the water, and it was like drinking plastic. It just tasted like plastic," he says.

You can listen to the podcast here: http://t.sr.se/1QRl72l 

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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