Central Nippon Expressway Co. (NEXCO Central) on Feb. 3 unveiled the site of the Sasago Tunnel cave-in to the media for the first time since the deadly accident last December.
Concrete ceiling panels fell on three vehicles passing through the 4.7-kilometer-long tunnel in Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Dec. 2 last year, killing nine people aged between their 20s and 70s.
Damage from the fallen ceiling panels, each of which weighed more than a ton, could be seen along a 100-meter stretch of the tunnel, where bereaved families have placed flowers for lost family members. Concrete reinforcement rods also lay exposed, as if the structures had been ripped apart. Fire had melted and changed the color of the road surface where a van carrying five victims had been.