PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download the FREE Equipment and Rental Resource Guide

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Neglect Seen in Deadly Tunnel Collapse

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

At least nine people were killed on Sunday (Dec. 2) morning in Japan when hundreds of tons of concrete fell from the ceiling of the Sasago Tunnel west of Tokyo.

Aging ceiling bolts—which may never have been replaced since the tunnel opened in 1977—and an incomplete inspection in September may have caused the tunnel ceiling to give way about 8 a.m. Sunday, said Ryoichi Yoshikawa, head of maintenance at Central Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO), the tunnel's operator.

Between 180 and 330 concrete slabs, each weighing approximately 1.2 tons, smashed down on commuters, news reports said.

"Superannuated (bolts) may be" the cause of the tunnel collapse, Yoshikawa said. "There is no record that shows repair work was carried out in the past."

Sasago Tunnel
Wikispaces / CCTV

News reports said that anywhere from 180 to 330 concrete slabs dropped onto cars in the tunnel.

The company said a routine inspection in September showed no irregularities, but it admitted that hammer tests had not been conducted on the section of ceiling that later collapsed.

The Sasago Tunnel is located about 50 miles west of Tokyo in Yamanshi Prefecture.

Inadequate Inspection, Old Bolts

According to expressway officials, failed bolts were found at the site where the concrete panels crashed down, trapping 30 cars, filling the tunnel with smoke, and ultimately killing at least nine people.

Inside the tunnel, concrete slabs sit on metal plates, which are bolted to the ceiling, and the bolts are reinforced with adhesives.

"At this moment, we're presuming that the top anchor bolts have come loose," said Motohiro Takamisawa, chief of NEXCO's Otsuki safety center, according to CNN. He added that the bolts hadn't been changed since the tunnel first opened; however, a company spokesman said that was not the company's official statement.

Officials said that the tunnel was inspected in September, but that the inspection involved only flashlights and binoculars to check the sections attached to the tunnel ceiling, according to The Asahi Shimbun.

"There was no record that we conducted the tapping inspection at the top of the ceiling in the tunnel," said a NEXCO spokesman.

Sasago Tunnel
Wikimedia Commons

Inspections were ordered for 48 other tunnels with the same design as the doomed Sasago Tunnel.

The company's 2011 annual reported that "although hammer tapping test is commonly carried out to investigate  concrete structures, it takes enormous time and cost to conduct the test on all concrete structures we have."

Yoshikawa reportedly admitted that the hammer tests should have been carried out.

"That is something we need to reflect on. I offer a profound apology," he said. "We will deal with the victims in a sincere manner."

The Japan Daily Press called the statement "one of the most inadequate apologies since the Fukushima crisis."

Emergency Checks 

There are 48 other tunnels with a similar design to the Sasago Tunnel, with ceiling sections suspended by metal rods anchored by bolts. The Transport Ministry has ordered expressway operators and regional bureaus to check the safety of those tunnels.

The Central Nippon Expressway Company is one of the three main operators of expressways and toll roads in Japan that were established when the Japan Highway Public Corporation was privatized.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Concrete defects; Fatalities; Inspection; Tunnel

Comment from sasha bacic, (12/4/2012, 3:47 AM)

Typical japanese reaction: "It never happened, why it should happen now?" In too many activities this reasoning proved to erroneous and when happens "We are profoundly sorry". There is a magic word,"sumimasen", which forgives everything! Pity.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


RPB Respiratory
AN INSTANTLY CLEAN VISOR? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
http://www.sspc.org/

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Minerals Research & Recovery

HIGH PERFORMANCE ABRASIVES


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!

WATCH THE VIDEO


KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Analyzes
Coating Failures

• Field Diagnosis
• Lab Diagnosis
• Determination of Cause
• Recommendations
www.kta.com
800-245-6379


Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques

See our Low Temperature Catalyst for your CO removal needs. Help to provide your workers with safe, comfortable breathing air!


WINOA Group
Steel Abrasives :Think Premium

The Premium series is the perfect mix of high-quality products and related technical services provided by skilled experts. Visit us during the GIFA (Hall15 - D14).


NLB Corporation
Rotating water jets increase coverage

NLB lance has rotating water jets (40,000 psi), widening the spray pattern to cover more area. Features air-driven swivel with dual triggers to enhance safety.


Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

6 NEW plants coast to coast! Safe for environment, 100% recycled glass. White Metal Finish! No unsafe toxins like Beryllium & Arsenic!
Call 866-775-6226

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com