Unknown number of cars trapped in tunnel collapse, fire outside Tokyo
Published Saturday, December 1, 2012 9:45PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 2, 2012 12:06AM EST
TOKYO -- Japanese police say that parts of a tunnel have collapsed on a highway west of Tokyo, trapping an unknown number of vehicles as smoke from a fire inside prevented rescuers from approaching.
A police spokesman, Yoshihiro Fukutani, said police were still trying to learn the exact situation inside the Sasago Tunnel, about 80 kilometres outside the city, after parts of a wall inside collapsed early Sunday morning.
Television footage showed police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances massed outside the tunnel's entrance. A man who said he saw the collapse and alerted authorities to the emergency managed to escape after he was ordered to flee. The roof and windows of another vehicle parked on the roadside outside the tunnel were crushed; the injured occupants reportedly taken to a hospital.