Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sasago Tunnel: Ceiling Panels Were Welded Together

Reason unknown.

I thought that at least Japan's civil engineering was still solid. Wrong.

Sankei Shinbun, quoting Kyodo News (12/5/2012):

トンネル天井板は溶接 広範囲崩落の要因か

Ceiling panels of the tunnel were welded together, may have contributed to a large section collapse


9 people died and 2 people suffered injuries in the collapse of [ceiling panels in] Sasago Tunnel on Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture. It was revealed on December 5 that the ceiling panels that fell were welded together using rebar.


The collapsed section is 130 meters long, and Central Nippon Expressway Company is admitting the possibility that the connected ceiling panels contributed to the collapse. The prefectural police will conduct the investigation by taking with the experts who accompanied the inspection of the scene of the accident and analyzing the documents seized from


According to Central Nippon Expressway, the 5m x 1.2m x 8.9 centimeter ceiling panels are made of concrete, weighing about 1.2 tonne each. There is a small gap in between the ceiling panels, but the gap was filled with metal [rebar] and welded.


Central Nippon Expressway says, "We still don't know how it actually collapsed, but we cannot deny the possibility that one segment fell, taking the other segments with it."

I thought, "How can you weld a concrete panel?" Looking at the video of FNN News below, the concrete ceiling panels seem to be covered by metal casings.

From FNN News Youtube channel (12/6/2012):

Neither Central Nippon Expressway Company nor the Yamanashi prefectural police has the detailed information or photos or the video regarding this accident available at their websites. I guess they have no intention of learning from the Fukushima nuclear accident when it comes to timely disclosure of information to the general public.


Anonymous said...

Humans like to look towards the future whilst ignoring the past. It's fatal.

Scott said...

So, not only did NEXCO ignore inspections on anchoring bolts they couldn't reach for nearly 30 years, they also decided to improperly weild each heavy pannel together which caused even more damage than if they were not all connected? This is seriously messed up. I really hope the familys of the deceased flex their rights in court and that the judge is sympathetic to their cause.

Anonymous said... FNN video available after this one finished showed that the ceiling connectors in the Haneda Line tunnel under Tokyo were found snapped off in 2006...and never repaired!! I fear that Japan is a wall of dominoes waiting to fall...

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Slow crash... more than 20 years in the making. LDP should win the election, so that they own both ends - beginning of and ending of the end of the country.

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