Police Raid Japan Tunnel Operator Offices After Deadly Collapse

Police were searching the offices Tuesday of the company operating an expressway tunnel where hundreds of concrete ceiling slabs collapsed onto moving vehicles below, killing nine people.

Those killed in Sunday’s accident were traveling in three vehicles in the 4.7-kilometer (3-mile) long Sasago Tunnel about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Tokyo. The transport ministry has ordered inspections of 49 other highway and road tunnels of similar construction around the mountainous country. The tunnel, on a highway that links the capital to central Japan, opened in 1977.

About a dozen uniformed police were shown on television entering the headquarters of Central Japan Expressway Co. early Tuesday, toting cardboard and plastic boxes.

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Japan Tunnel Collapses

A major road tunnel has collapsed in Japan, trapping a number of vehicles and leaving seven people missing, local media reports say.

Survivors described how large sections of concrete fell on top of cars in the Sasago tunnel.

Rescuers managed to reach the scene, but were unsure how many cars were buried there.

The incident happened at about 08:00 local time 23:00 GMT Saturday, about 80km 50 miles west of Tokyo.The tunnel – one of Japans longest – links the capital to the city of Nagoya.



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Japan: Five missing as tunnel collapses at oil refinery

Divers have begun searching for five missing workers in the dark and muddy waters of a collapsed tunnel at one of Japans biggest oil refineries.

Six people were in the partially constructed undersea tunnel at Kurashiki when it caved in, but one managed to get out, a spokesman for the city fire department said.

The survivor “said that sea water came gushing in” and flooded the tunnel, according to the spokesman.The man told police that he thought he heard a voice saying “Danger! Leave!” and climbed up a staircase to the surface.The accident happened at Mizushima Refinery, operated by JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp, around 550 kilometres west of Tokyo.

Six police divers entered the vertical shaft of the tunnel where visibility was low because of debris, mud and oil.

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