BERLIN (AP) — A fire alarm inside a railway tunnel being built under the Austrian Alps prompted workers briefly to take shelter in an underground safety area Monday, a project manager said.

Eighteen people were working on a tunnel-boring machine inside the Brenner tunnel construction site when the alarm went off, said Konrad Bergmeister, the Austrian CEO of project management company BBT SE. It turned out to be a false alarm, he said.

He said a smoke sensor set off the alarm, prompting people to take shelter in a safety container, but workers quickly determined there was no fire or smoke. Electricians were working to determine the cause of the alarm.

Officials had earlier said the tunnel-boring machine had apparently caught fire or at least emitted smoke inside the tunnel.

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The Brenner tunnel aims to link the Austrian city of Innsbruck and central Europe with northern Italy.

The Brenner Base Tunnel project, the main part of which is a 55-kilometer (34-mile) connection between Innsbruck and Fortezza in northern Italy, is supposed to be completed in the mid-2020s. It will consist of two single-track tunnels as well as a third tunnel that will eventually help with drainage.