9 dead in collapsed Japan tunnel

The Sasago tunnel on the Chuo Expressway

Nine people are now confirmed to have died after a major tunnel collapsed in Japan, officials say.

The bodies were found in three vehicles that were crushed by fallen concrete panels in the Sasago tunnel, about 80km (50 miles) west of the capital Tokyo.

A fire broke out after the tunnel caved in on Sunday, and a number of survivors fled to safety on foot.

The usually busy tunnel remains closed, as police are investigating potential negligence.

There will be serious questions about how a major tunnel on one of Japan’s most important traffic arteries could have failed so catastrophically.

The private company that runs the highway has said the tunnel was given a major inspection just two months ago and was given a clean bill of health, according to the BBC Tokyo correspondent.

 

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