English, Fake News

Image of Devil’s Slide Tunnel, California is falsely shared as that of Atal Tunnel


A post with the image of a tunnel is being widely shared on social media with the claim that it is the image is of ‘Atal Tunnel’ which was recently inaugurated in Rohtang by the Prime Minister. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Image of Atal tunnel which is recently inaugurated in Rohtang.

Fact: The image in the post is actually of devils slide tunnel also known as Tom Lantos tunnels which is in California, US. We can spot a few differences when we compare the entrances of the tunnels shared in the post and the one PM Modi has inaugurated recently in Rohtang. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

Reverse image search of the photo in the post led us to a blog which carried the same image like the one in the post. In the blog, the image is posted under the title ‘Inside the devil’s slide tunnel’. Taking a cue from here, we did a Google search with the keyword ‘devils slide tunnel’ and that led us to California State Metropolitan Transportation Commission website which shared the inauguration video of the tunnel. According to the website, the tunnel is also called Tom Lantos Tunnel and is located in California. Construction video of the devil’s slide tunnel can be seen here.

Further Prime Minister Modi shared the images of the Atal tunnel on his twitter account. The entrance of the tunnel in the images shared by PM is completely different from that of the one shared in the post. With this, we can say that the image of the tunnel in the post is not of Atal tunnel.

Some features of Atal Tunnel:

  • With its 9.02 Km length, Atal tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world above 10,000ft.
  • The tunnel reduces the road distance between Leh and Manali by 46 km, reducing the travel time to fall by four to five hours.
  • Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a max speed of 80 km/hr.
  • Safety features of the tunnel include telephone connections at every 150 metres for emergency communication, fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 meters, auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 metres, air quality monitoring at every 1 Km, evacuation lighting/exit signs and broadcasting system throughout the tunnel etc.
  • A 3.6 x 2.25 meters fire-proof emergency exit is built inside the main tunnel itself.

Some features of Devils slide tunnel:

  • The tunnel can withstand a 7.5-8.0 magnitude seismic event.
  • The tunnel is approximately 4,000 ft. long which make it one among the longest in California.
  • The tunnel is constructed based on the New Austrian Tunneling Method, a sequential excavation and support tunnel-mining technique. 

To sum it up, the image in the post is not of Atal tunnel which is recently inaugurated in Rohtang.


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