The Associated Press reports a tunnel collapse between Tokyo and central Japan has left seven people missing. Rescue workers were unable to reach trapped and injured drivers on Sunday after a vehicle caught fire and filled the tunnel with smoke. Those who escaped reported hearing the voices of those still trapped by rubble calling for help, and early reports say at least three bodies have been found inside the collapsed tunnel. A spokesperson with the Fire and Disaster Management agency could not confirm those reports, however.

The three-mile tunnel, about 50 miles outside of Tokyo, originally opened in 1977, but receives regular inspections to ensure safety. Central Japan Expressway Company is currently investigating why the panels gave way in the first place, and says the tunnel's roof showed no signs of failure during evaluations in September and October.

UPDATE: Video added below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Pllc15
      • 2 Years Ago
      Japan probably has the most tunnels per square mile than most countries due to its mountainous topography. Riding the Bullet Train for example, I would say 40% of the trip between Tokyo and Osaka are tunnels. So you really don't see the countryside as much as you would want to.
        fly by wireless
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pllc15
        Uhhh. there aren't many tunnels from Tokyo to Osaka on the Shinkansen. That's the Tokaido (East Sea Way), much of it's by the sea. You are right in that there are very many tunnels in Japan though. That's especially the case going from the Japan sea to Pacific side as well as just more mountainous regions with even moderate populations.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lots of the tunnel seems fine, it's just that particular section. Despite this incident it seems to be well constructed.
      HVH20
      • 2 Years Ago
      Made in Japan.
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        Goofball. Remember the tunnel collapse in Boston? Regardless, what a grotesque comment to make.
        fly by wireless
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        That's knuckleheaded. Japan makes some the best stuff on Earth in the areas they put much attention into. Of course it's the Americans' and Europeans' hubris, laziness and greed(read nickeling and diming products to death for extra profits) that has given the Japanese companies the opportunity to shine.
        chrono00
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        For a country that suffers from earthquakes, Japan has one of the safest and strictest building codes in the world. This tunnel most likely collapsed due to erosion or cracks due to decades of earthquakes. It is not an issue of quality, but an issue of time. Eventually things will break, nothing lasts forever. In Japan, structures such as these are designed to last as long as possible even through earthquakes. So, take your stupid, ethnocentric and racist Americanism attitude out of Autoblog!
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chrono00
          How do you know NVH20 is American?
          lordedardstark1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chrono00
          He could very well be Korean or Chinese. Get you prejudiced ass out of Autoblog, Chrono00.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chrono00
          [blocked]
        H.E. Pennypacker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        what a tacky comment.
        Hajime1990 #follow
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        hello china.
        gtv4rudy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        SUX2BU
      ead17
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Regular inspection"? You mean like the Fukushima plant? Japan, you are on notice: get your **** together.
        VDuB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ead17
        Yea cause inspections would have prevented a wall of water from slaming into it.
        J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ead17
        Japan is one of the few countries that 'has their **** together'.
      CruzControl
      • 2 Years Ago
      Our tunnels are next if we don't improve our infrastructure.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CruzControl
        [blocked]
          kmcc895370
          • 2 Years Ago
          yeah, but it can still afford billions to foreign aide.
          krazeecoolguy
          • 2 Years Ago
          We have plenty of money. We're just allocating it to wrong sectors of our government. Also having corrupted, shortsighted, dumb, greedy politicians doesn't help.
          fly by wireless
          • 2 Years Ago
          Too bad we spent so much buying votes with regressive tax cuts and an extra war built on blatantly trumped up "evidence".
      Lynchenstein
      • 2 Years Ago
      Missing? I have a pretty good idea where they are.
      Lucky Vanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      I brame Godzirra.
      mikoprivat
      • 2 Years Ago
      maybe the miriad of japanese car recalls should have been extended to their tunnels also....Made in Japan LOL
      dinabow
      • 2 Years Ago
      These poor people. They have had a terrible time. Things like this will probably happen here soon. Our bridges, roads, buildings are falling apart. Nothing is being done. No one cares anymore ~ each is out for their own benefit.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone call Stallone
      andrite36
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought those rounded roof tunnels were more impervious to collapse sine the weight was batter distributed... So much for that... Sending prayerrs to those and their families.
        Lucas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrite36
        first, you can't say more impervious since impervious already means incapable. It's like saying more indestructible. If something is indestructible, it can't be more. But beyond that rounded roof tunnels are less likely to collapse than flat ones but you should consider that less likely doesn't mean impossible.
      DENNISLISA79
      • 2 Years Ago
      people need to learn how to drive
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