Japan's fatal tunnel collapse caused by 'never repaired, aging ceiling bolts', says official
Tunnel collapse in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture that killed at least nine people on Sunday, may have been caused by aging ceiling bolts that failed, an official has said.
While speaking to reporters in Nagoya, where the highway operator is headquartered, Ryoichi Yoshikawa, Central Nippon Expressway Co (CNEC) executive in charge of maintenance, said failed bolts were found at the site where tons of concrete ceiling panels fell onto vehicles traveling through the Sasago Tunnel.
"Superannuated (bolts) may be" the Japan Times quoted Yoshikawa, as saying.
"There is no record that shows repair work was carried out in the past," he added.
According to the paper, CNEC revealed that the tunnel hadn't undergone any major repairs since it opened in 1977.
The company stressed that a routine inspection in September showed no irregularities, but admitted they did not conduct hammer tests on the ceiling section that collapsed Sunday.