Heavy snows battered the Andean border region of Argentina and Chile on Wednesday, forcing the closure of a key mountain highway connecting the two countries and idling thousands of trucks.

Argentine transit officials predicted the Cristo Redentor tunnel, a nearly two-mile passage drilled into the mountains at 10,400 feet above sea level, would be impassible for 72 hours because of snowstorms and high winds, government news agency Telam reported.

Authorities said some 2,500 trucks were halted on the Argentine side of the border and 3,000 more on the Chilean side.

Heavy snow and high winds in mountain elevations were forecast to continue Thursday.

Also Wednesday, days of intermittent heavy fog that hampered domestic air travel lifted in the capital and check-in workers at the Jorge Newbery airport in Buenos Aires returned from a two-day strike that stranded 20,000 travelers.

The workers struck to demand greater security after some were attacked by passengers irate over the fog delays.