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Nine dead in Japan tunnel collapse: Reports

Published on Dec 3, 2012 8:46 AM
 
Police officers and firefighters gather in front of the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Otsuki, Yamanashi prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo Dec 2, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - At least nine people died after a major Japanese road tunnel collapsed at the weekend, trapping vehicles and sparking a blaze, media reports said on Monday.

Police have confirmed that nine bodies were found in three vehicles inside the Sasago tunnel on the Chuo Expressway, which collapsed Sunday morning, Jiji Press and Kyodo News said.

Concrete ceiling panels crushed cars and triggered the fire inside the nearly five-kilometre tunnel, 80 km west of Tokyo.

Emergency workers had collected five charred bodies - three men and two women - from a vehicle by early Monday, Jiji said.

 
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