Mysterious 18-meter secret tunnel found under Utrecht homes

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie). (New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie))

Police in Utrecht made an unusual discovery on Tuesday when they discovered a secret tunnel running below several homes along the J.P. Coenstraat. Investigators think the 18-meter-long hidden corridor was only recently created, but residents say they have no idea how or when it was constructed.

Authorities arrived on the street at about 10 a.m. They were responding to multiple reports of an inexplicable scent of clay and smoke, police said in a statement.

Officers gained entrance to a vacant home on the block and found the tunnel via a whole in the building's crawlspace. If the corridor was built of late, it could explain the fresh smell of clay, a police spokesperson told broadcaster NOS.

A team of explosives disposal experts were called in as a precaution, and sent a robotic vehicle into the passageway after standing water was pumped out of the space.

Police on Tuesday said the tunnel appeared to be a dead end with only the one entry and exit point via the vacant home. Residents did file reports of damage related to the tunnel, which investigators will examine further, police said. 

There were no arrests made as no evidence of wrongdoing was immediately uncovered.

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