12/10/2017 22:33 EST | Updated 12/10/2017 22:40 EST

Boring machine catches fire in Austrian tunnel, 18 in hiding

BERLIN — Austrian media are reporting that a tunnel-boring machine has caught fire at the construction site of a railway tunnel under the Alps that will link Austria with Italy.

Public broadcaster ORF reported Monday that about 50 workers were in the tunnel at the time the fire broke out. It said 18 of them whom officials initially were unable to contact are believed to have taken shelter in a container inside the tunnel. It said the blaze has apparently been extinguished.

The Brenner tunnel is supposed to be completed in 2025, cutting journey times between Innsbruck and northern Italy.