The Japanese police announced that they found several bodies in the Sasago tunnel, which collapsed on Sunday due to mudslide. A part of the ceiling of a highway tunnel at about 80 km from Tokyo caved in and killed several people who were trapped inside their cars. The rescue operations continue.
According to latest information available, nine people were killed in the tunnel.
The accident occurred on Sunday morning, shortly after 8.00 o’clock, and was followed by a fire. The bodies were found by firefighters inside at least two cars. The rescue operations were slowed down by the fire and the fear that the ceiling would continue to cave in. Some people saved themselves by leaving their cars and walking out of the tunnel, while some others are still missing.
Witnesses said that pieces of concrete suddenly began to fall down from the ceiling, smashing some cars that caught fire. The fire, which produced a dense smoke, was extinguished after about three hours.
“I saw a crushed car catching fire. I left my car and walked for about an hour to get out of the tunnel”, declared one of the witnesses for the Japanese national television, NHK. “I could hear voices of people calling for help, but the fire was just too strong”, said another, according to SkyNews.