7 missing in collapse of highway tunnel in JapanBy ELAINE KURTENBACH
The Associated Press | December 03,2012TOKYO — At least seven people were feared missing and several dead after about 150 concrete panels fell from the roof of a tunnel on the main highway linking Tokyo with central Japan.
Efforts to rescue any survivors trapped inside the tunnel were hindered by heavy smoke after one vehicle caught fire inside the Sasago Tunnel, about 50 miles outside Tokyo.
Rescuers also temporarily suspended work because of fears of a further collapse. They were attempting to reach at least several vehicles believed buried in the rubble, including a truck whose driver was trapped inside and had called his company for help.
“I could hear voices of people calling for help, but the fire was just too strong,” said a woman interviewed by public broadcaster NHK after she escaped from the tunnel.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency issued a statement late Sunday saying five people were confirmed to have been in a car that burned inside the tunnel, and at least one other was in a truck.
However, officials said they could not confirm the exact number of people believed dead.
Executives for Central Japan Expressway Co. said the company was investigating why the concrete panels had given way. A check of the 3-mile tunnel’s roof in September and October found nothing amiss, they said.
It said two people were confirmed hurt, but the injuries were not severe.
The tunnel, which opened in 1977, is one of many in mountainous Japan. The location of the collapse, about a mile inside the tunnel, was complicating rescue efforts, reports said.
Police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances were massed outside the tunnel’s entrance.MORE IN Wire NewsKABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan ordered a New York Times correspondent Wednesday to leave the... Full StoryWASHINGTON — The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State... Full StorySACRAMENTO, Calif. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Jim Jeffords' legacy, Brandon takes a few questions about proposed budget, beleaguered city playground likely to move, woman awakes to find strange man with knives standing at her bedside.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Former U.S. Senator James Jeffords dies Monday in Washington D.C., a local man is beaten and robbed while walking on West Street, Clarendon sets a tax rate and Brandon convenes an informational public meeting about its budget.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1915, the New York World publishes scoop: Thom. Edison diverts chemical from war production to help German pharmaceutical company make aspirin; on this day in 1935, Will Rogers, Wiley Post die in Alaska plane crash.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: State panel briefed on smuggling drugs into prisons; new French-German documentary about Vermont's heroin addiction; solar project at Vets Home falls apart; update dispute between Open Door Mission and treatment center.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Climatologists might not know as much about El Nino as they thought they knew. New studies show 10,000 years ago, El Nino was active, and polar ice sheets were rapidly melting — just like today.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: State colleges get a budget cut break, vandals spray paint Wallingford basketball court, state's attorney will replace lost deputies, cop lawsuit proceeds, Mendon mini-golf proposal makes headway.