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Major tunnel collapse kills motorists in Japan


Published on Dec 3, 2012

Rescuers in Japan are pulling charred bodies from rubble today after one of the longest vehicular tunnels in Japan collapse yesterday morning. At approximately 8am, a 100 metre section of the twin-bore Sasago tunnel, located 80km west of the capital, collapsed on the Tokyo bound highway killing nine motorists, reports Bloomberg. Many vehicles burst into flames spewing thick black smoke throughout the 4.3km long tunnel, hampering rescue efforts which had to be halted for several hours for fears of further collapse. As the casualties mounted, the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi prefecture was closed down, causing traffic chaos for thousands of weekend tourists. Authorities are  now facing stern criticism and a major investigation will follow to determine the cause of the collapse, as yet unknown, after the private company that runs the highway cleared the tunnel after a thorough safety inspection just two months ago.

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