Kōshū entrance to the Sasago Tunnel
|Owner||Central Nippon Expressway Company|
|Traffic||Automobiles • Motorbikes|
4.784 kilometres (2.973 mi) (Tokyo-bound)
|Number of lanes||2 uni-directional in each bore|
The Sasago Tunnel (笹子トンネル Sasago Tonneru?) is a Japanese twin-bore motorway tunnel on the Chūō Expressway on the border of the cities of Kōshū and Ōtsuki in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It is located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the capital Tokyo. It was built in 1977.
At approximately 8 am on December 2, 2012, nearly 150 concrete ceiling panels inside the Tokyo-bound Sasago Tunnel collapsed, crushing three vehicles, including a van carrying six persons that caught fire. The fallen panels were 20 centimetres (7.9 in) thick and weighed 1.2 tonnes (1.2 long tons; 1.3 short tons) each. The caved-in point was 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the Tokyo-side exit and spanned a length of 50 to 60 metres (160 to 200 ft). Smoke could be seen billowing from the Kōshū entrance to the tunnel.
Nine people died and two were injured, making it the deadliest Japanese roadway accident in history. The tunnel was closed for a period of 27 days for repairs and removal of ceiling panels, before the south tube reopened on December 29. The north tube, where the collapse happened, reopened on February 8, 2013.
- 中央自動車道笹子トンネル天井板落下事故関連情報 [Information on Chuo Expressway Sasebo Tunnel Ceiling Panel Collapse] (in Japanese). Saitama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kanto Regional Development Bureau. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Japan Police: Motorway Tunnel Caves In". Sky News. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
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- Martin Fackler (2 December 2012), Nine Killed When Highway Tunnel Collapses in Japan New York Times
- 中央道・笹子トンネル内で崩落事故 車数台が巻き込まれる(フジニュースネットワークニュース2012年12月02日11:04配信(配信日に閲覧))
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- "Smoke is seen from the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway as Police officers gather in Koshu". Photo posted at AlertNet. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Japan orders tunnel inspections after Sasago collapse". BBC News. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "笹子トンネル ２か月ぶり全面開通へ". NHK News. 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
Media related to Sasago Tunnel at Wikimedia Commons