Tunnel Collapses Outside Tokyo, Trapping Motorists
December 2, 2012 - 10:36 am | Category: World
At least seven people were feared dead after part of a highway tunnel collapsed Sunday in eastern Japan, trapping them in their vehicles and starting a fire that filled the tunnel with thick, black smoke.
Three vehicles appear to have been crushed under concrete that fell from the ceiling of the three-mile Sasago Tunnel near the city of Otsuki in Yamanashi Prefecture, about 50 miles west of Tokyo, the national government’s disaster management agency said. Agency and police officials said it remained unclear why the 150- to 200-foot section of eight-inch-thick concrete, weighing about 180 tons, suddenly fell.
A vehicle carrying six people caught fire, emitting heavy smoke that initially prevented firefighters from entering the tunnel. But even after putting out the blaze, rescuers had to temporarily suspend efforts to reach the trapped vehicles because of the danger of a further collapse, officials said.Article Source