Inspections ordered of road tunnels in Japan

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Japan has ordered inspections of highway tunnels across the country after one collapsed on Sunday killing nine people.

Two people were also injured when a 360 feet long section of the tunnel’s concrete ceiling collapsed onto cars on Sunday morning along the Chuo Expressway west of Tokyo.

Chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said yesterday: “The prime minister ordered the transport ministry to put the utmost efforts into rescuing victims, to quickly investigate the cause of the accident and to establish measures to prevent similar accidents.”

The land ministry ordered highway companies with similar concrete panels in tunnels to make emergency inspections.

An official from the highway operator, Central Nippon Expressway, said the metal rods used to secure the concrete panels to the walls in the three mile tunnel may have become loose.