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Tunnel Collapses In Japan, At Least 5 Dead  
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20571218
Sasago Tunnel, Chuo Expressway, Central Japan Expressway Company:
A brutal collapse happened yesterday outside of Tokyo. One car caught fire and burnt the occupants.   

I hope the injured get well soon. This is surely going to tie up traffic getting out of Tokyo for a while, as they may have to repair most of the tunnel.


次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1928 times:

Yikes, that must be terrifying, I hope they find everyone the article notes as missing. Is infrastructure a big issue in Japan? A while back there was some well-founded griping about the quality of the United States' bridges and tunnels and I wonder if they have similar problems; likewise given how mountainous their islands are I wonder how many other long tunnels are important to their road and rail networks.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 1):
likewise given how mountainous their islands are I wonder how many other long tunnels are important to their road and rail networks.

This is the first such issue with a longish tunnel I've heard of. This one is 4,783 meters long. It is really two parallel tunnels, called a twin bore. Two side by side tunnels with two lanes of traffic in one direction in each tunnel. It would be standard practice to cross connect them at various points along their length.

We used to see occasional closures of some of the short tunnels on the Miura Peninsula near Yokosuka in times of heavy rains with slides near the entrances. I've seen tunnels closed due to water seepage inside the tunnel.

The Japanese take maintenance of such infrastructure very seriously.

Japan's rail and road network have what must be thousands of tunnels. There used to be I think 10 or 12 short tunnels on the sea side road between Yokosuka and Yokohama. They are essential to ground transportation and commerce.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29800 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1873 times:

My sister figures when she went to Japan a couple of months ago she drove through this tunnel..

At the risk of being inappropriate I told her if man was meant to be in mountains god would have made us Hortas.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1839 times:

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 1):
Is infrastructure a big issue in Japan?
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
The Japanese take maintenance of such infrastructure very seriously.

Exactly. Japan has never had safety issues in terms of infrastructure, so there must have been some extreme anomaly here.



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1829 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 4):

Exactly. Japan has never had safety issues in terms of infrastructure, so there must have been some extreme anomaly here.

The article mentions fire- is there anything that could burn hot enough to cause a collapse? Don't know much (anything) about this sort of thing.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 5):
The article mentions fire- is there anything that could burn hot enough to cause a collapse? Don't know much (anything) about this sort of thing.

A car caught on fire after the collapse.

Death toll raised to 9  



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1751 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 4):
so there must have been some extreme anomaly here.

My only guess at this point is that some of the numerous small earthquakes that shake Japan might have dislodged something to place the stresses of the tunnel roof weight on the wrong point. Then another minor quake was the final trigger to cause the collapse.

Yes, Japan has a lot of tunnels and other infrastructure that folks might thing would not be a good idea in earthquake country.

The Japanese build them expecting earthquakes. Their science and engineering are very, very good. But sometimes even the best engineering can't predict every possibility.

Now I could be completely wrong. It might have been a mistake in maintenance or even the original construction. But I doubt it.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1738 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
The Japanese build them expecting earthquakes. Their science and engineering are very, very good. But sometimes even the best engineering can't predict every possibility.

This is true but it doesn't mean corners are never cut. There was a famous case back in 2007 of an architectural firm run by a principal who made a lucrative career of doing cookie cutter business hotels and temporary-stay apartment buildings. Nothing necessarily wrong with that except it came to light that the after the earthquake codes were revised post-1995 Kobe earthquake, he doctored all of his seismic safety-related structural engineering data around to save clients material and building costs. He did it under the guise of "new design techniques" and this was a huge part of his success.

Nothing was found until a building company questioned the specs and blueprints on one of the business hotels designed by his firm and sent them to a university professor friend for analysis who reported the seismic figures didn't add up. This launched a massive scandal and forced a major hotel chain to spend tens of millions of dollars on retrofit repairs to new buildings. Of course in Japan, once this kind of damage is done, it is often fatal to a business as customers never returned.

Nowhere is immune to that kind of thing.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1708 times:

Some more data coming out today.

It appears some of the retaining bolts from the very thick ceiling panels cannot be found. That allowed the ceiling panels to fall onto the roadway below.

If so, the question will be when where the bolts and nuts last inspected, and what could have caused them to fail.

On a side note - CNN's article says there are 1,575 highway tunnels in Japan.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1682 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
My only guess at this point is that some of the numerous small earthquakes that shake Japan might have dislodged something to place the stresses of the tunnel roof weight on the wrong point. Then another minor quake was the final trigger to cause the collapse.

Well there haven't been that many earthquakes recently, and even with the Tohoku quake last year, this tunnel is far away from Sendai.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
Yes, Japan has a lot of tunnels and other infrastructure that folks might thing would not be a good idea in earthquake country.

They are built with the latest and most updated earthquake-proof technology.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
On a side note - CNN's article says there are 1,575 highway tunnels in Japan.

On an 8 hour bus trip from Tokyo to Takayama with my classmates last year, we went through about 20 tunnels, including the Sasago.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
If so, the question will be when where the bolts and nuts last inspected, and what could have caused them to fail.

I think it was reported it was last inspected in october



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4628 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1668 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9): If so, the question will be when where the bolts and nuts last inspected, and what could have caused them to fail.
I think it was reported it was last inspected in october

Perhaps a small quake dislodged them, and a street sweeper or road cleanup picked them up with no one realizing it.

I doubt this tunnel has such low traffic that someone found the opportunity to sabotage it .

There will no doubt be a pretty thourough investigation of this incident, along with the rest of the tunnel and recent seismic activity.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6218 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1597 times:
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NEXCO´s offices, the operators of the tunnel, have been raided by Japanese police. Is this a sign we are looking at a case of structural failure due to cutting corners? I sure hope not. It would be pretty disappointing.

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1585 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
NEXCO´s offices, the operators of the tunnel, have been raided by Japanese police. Is this a sign we are looking at a case of structural failure due to cutting corners? I sure hope not. It would be pretty disappointing.

Depends on who ordered the raid. If the ministry of transportation ordered it, then that may be it. It's anyone else, then it could just be a formality.



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1578 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
NEXCO´s offices, the operators of the tunnel, have been raided by Japanese police.

My experience in Japan is dated, but that was not unusual. Whenever there was a major accident - the offices were 'raided'

After JAL 123 - the police visited the offices of JAL, and later Boeing.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
Is this a sign we are looking at a case of structural failure due to cutting corners?

It is way too early for such a determination to be made. But making sure to preserve all records of work done on the tunnel - I can see the authorities wanting to preserve that information.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1566 times:

Found this article, interesting:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...-operators-offices-after-collapse/

Quote:
"There were parts of concrete (slabs) where bolts had fallen off," Yoshizawa said.

Another possible explanation is that the recent 4.9 Tokyo earthquake on Nov. 24 may have loosened the foundation and structure of the tunnel, the Guardian reports.

So depending on where the epicenter was, this could definitely be the issue.



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1541 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 4):
Exactly. Japan has never had safety issues in terms of infrastructure, so there must have been some extreme anomaly here.

"NEXCO said safety inspections consist largely of visual and acoustic surveys, with workers looking for cracks and other abnormalities in the concrete and metal parts.

Officials admitted that during the five-yearly check of the ceiling in September there had been no acoustic survey of the metal parts"
http://www.news.com.au/world/police-...s-say/story-fndir2ev-1226529607329

Seems the extreme anomaly is the all too common corner cutting.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1527 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
It appears some of the retaining bolts from the very thick ceiling panels cannot be found. That allowed the ceiling panels to fall onto the roadway below.

If so, the question will be when where the bolts and nuts last inspected, and what could have caused them to fail.

I've had some involvement in major construction; and as soon as I saw the photgraphs, I thought, "This sort of thing just CAN'T happen." All those slabs just falling on top of the cars, all at once........

Retaining bolts in that sort of situation have to be very carefully fitted and 'bedded in.' If they haven't been, of course there can be a collapse - but a couple of badly-installed bolts couldn't possibly cause a failure on that scale, with so many panels coming down all at once; there'd have to be literally dozens of bolts all failing at once. And now that I hear (thanks, rfields5421) that some of the bolts 'cannot be found,' the horrible possibility arises that maybe some of the bolts were never put in at all..........

Of course, it could simply be that the rescue gangs haven't yet cleared all the debris, and the missing bolts will be found later.

But, all in all, I'm not at all surprised to hear about the raid on the operators' offices..................



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1512 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 17):
But, all in all, I'm not at all surprised to hear about the raid on the operators' offices..................

This tunnel was built/ opened in 1977.

At the time the highway and tunnel were built - the Japan Highway Public Corporation was the owner/ builder.

This was a government agency established in 1956 to build and operated various highway networks..

In October 2005, the highway system was divided into three private enterprise companies based on region, named - East, Central and West Nippon Expressway Company.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7595 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 16):
Seems the extreme anomaly is the all too common corner cutting.

Seems to be the sad case here.....

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 18):
At the time the highway and tunnel were built - the Japan Highway Public Corporation was the owner/ builder.

This was a government agency established in 1956 to build and operated various highway networks..

In October 2005, the highway system was divided into three private enterprise companies based on region, named - East, Central and West Nippon Expressway Company.

When JNR (rails) were privatized in the late 80s there were a lot of hiccups...maybe the same is being said about the roads being privatized.



次は、渋谷、渋谷。出口は、右側です。電車とホームの間は広く開いておりますので、足元に注意下さい。
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