Skip to comments.Cars trapped in tunnel collapse outside Tokyo
Posted on 12/01/2012 10:12:09 PM PST by Kartographer
Parts of a tunnel collapsed Sunday on a highway west of Tokyo, trapping an unknown number of vehicles as smoke from a fire inside initially prevented rescuers from approaching. Video footage from cameras inside the tunnel, after the fire was apparently extinguished, showed firefighters picking their way through cement roof panels that collapsed onto vehicles inside the Sasago Tunnel, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) outside the city. About 25 vehicles were inside the (2.5 mile) 4.3 kilometer-long tunnel, some of them trucks stopped by the tunnel's collapse.
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Let’s hope they all survived.
I wonder how old this tunnel was.
Prayers for the folks.
It was built in 1977 - I’m wondering if it had hidden damage from past earthquakes.
Unfortunately, no. At least seven people are missing, some bodies have already been removed. More info here: http://news.sky.com/story/1019392/japan-bodies-found-after-tunnel-collapse
Sad. I imagine a fire in tunnel would be certain death due to the fumes and lack of air after awhile.
Most times when I’m in a tunnel or on a bridge I think “what if it ‘broke’ right now.” Soon followed by the thought of “They build them strong...they’re safe...”.
Takes thte suspense out of what my nightmares will be tonight!
I'd thought that too, but I can't imagine that, in the nation that adopted Deming before we did, the Japanese don't have an active infrastructural inspection system capable of detecting it. This is very surprising.
Even Deming commented that his principles couldn’t catch everything, especially when it came to maintenance. Other thing is that with a tunnel, you can’t inspect everything you’d want to, and this tunnel was on the older side.
Most tunnels are a shell with an outer shell to accommodate ventilation and maintenance access, as well as to offer more rigidity with less material. What bothers me here is that usually such elements of critical infrastructure get an inspection after an earthquake. One might expect a "wounded" structure to fail in a succeeding event, but one would think the inspection sufficient to determine safe operating conditions under a static load given the usual safety factors.
This is just weird.
Prayers for all who are hurt.
Well, it’s not like their inspectors and engineers haven’t had anything else to do in the last few years after the tsunami. Perhaps they had to delay the inspection to deal with what they thought was more important during the tsunami recovery.