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At least three killed in Japan tunnel collapse

Last Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 19:53

Tokyo: At least three people were killed and two women injured when a section of a four-km-long tunnel collapsed in Japan Sunday, media reports said.

The Sasago tunnel in the Chou expressway in Otsuki, about 80 km west of Tokyo, collapsed around 8 am, trapping many cars inside, Xinhua reported citing Kyodo News.

Two people were taken to hospital. Firefighters managed to control a fire triggered by a crash of two vehicles after the ceiling and wall collapsed in a 100-metre section of the tunnel.

The cars were crushed after the 20-cm-thick ceiling collapsed in a 50-60 metre section of the cave.

A woman, who managed to escape the collapse, said she was in a car in which five others were trapped.

Rescuers were earlier forced to withdraw from the tunnel as engineers at the site warned that the tunnel`s structure was unstable and might collapse again.

After hours of suspension, rescue work restarted around 4 pm.

The operator of the highway, Central Nippon Expressway Company, apologised for the incident.

The company said that in a regular check in September, they did not find any defects inside the tunnel.


First Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 11:19
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