December 3rd, 2012
08:31 AM ET

9 bodies recovered from vehicles crushed by tunnel collapse in Japan

Nine bodies - eight of them burned - have been pulled from vehicles crushed in a tunnel collapse about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Tokyo, highway police said Monday.

The disaster has prompted Japanese authorities to order emergency checks on dozens of other tunnels across the country that have a similar design, as questions were raised about whether aging parts may have contributed to the collapse.

Five of the bodies were recovered in one charred station wagon, and three others were in another burned vehicle, according to a police spokesperson. The other fatality was in a truck.

The Sasago tunnel on the Chuo Expressway remained closed Monday morning, one day after the cave-in occurred on the highway's Tokyo-bound lanes, police from the nearby city of Otsuki said.

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