AT LEAST nine people are confirmed dead after several vehicles were crushed in the collapse of a highway tunnel between Tokyo and Mount Fuji, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported.

Five bodies were recovered from a van that was crushed when pieces of a concrete ceiling tumbled onto a section of the Chuo expressway about 85 kilometers west of Tokyo, NHK said, citing local police.

Three people were found dead in a passenger vehicle and another body was recovered from a freezer truck, the report said.

Japan's transport ministry will issue an emergency inspection as early as Monday of at least 20 tunnels across the country with a similar design as the four-kilometre Sasago Tunnel, the Asahi newspaper reported.

Footage of the collapse captured by a surveillance camera showed slabs of concrete dropped onto the road over dozens of metres.

 

Read more at Brisbane Times


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