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Five dead in Japan road tunnel collapse

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Five dead in Japan road tunnel collapse
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Rescue teams in central Japan are still trying to reach several missing people after the collapse of a major road tunnel.

Police say five people were killed and a number of cars remain trapped in the nearly five-kilometre long Sasago tunnel.

The structure was built into hills leading to Mount Fuji, about 80 kilometres west of Tokyo.

CCTV images showed the collapse of several ceiling panels along a roughly 60 metre stretch of the road.

Drivers described narrow escapes from falling debris, and a long walk through the darkness after abandoning their cars.

“At one point I realised that my car was in split in two and there weren’t any other vehicles behind me,” said one woman.

Smoke was seen billowing from the tunnel, thought to have been caused by at least one car catching fire.

There has been no word yet on why the structure, which opened in 1977, suddenly collapsed.
Officials say there was no earthquake in the area this morning.

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