At least seven people were feared missing and several dead after about 150 concrete panels fell from the roof of a tunnel
on the main highway linking Tokyo with central Japan. (Dec. 2)
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SHOTLIST++AERIALS++1. Zoom in from smoke coming from tunnel's entrance to tunnel entrance2. Medium of smoke coming from tunnel's entranceNEXCO-CENTRAL - MUST ON SCREEN CREDIT "NEXCO-CENTRAL", NO RE-SALE.Tokyo1. Various of surveillance camera footage from inside the tunnel with rescue crews at workTV TOKYO - NO ACCESS JAPAN. CLEARED FOR INTERNET USE EXCEPT BY JAPANESE WEBSITES, BBC WORLD, CNNI, NBC, CNBC. MUST HAVE ON-SCREEN CREDIT "TV TOKYO" IF PICTURES TO BE BROADCAST VIA CABLE OR COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN JAPAN, NO RE-USE/RE-SALE WITHOUT CLEARANCE.Tokyo2. Pan of road control centre3. Pan of monitors4. Tilt down to tunnel's entrance5. Various of emergency services at tunnel entranceSTORYLINE:At least seven people were feared missing and several dead after about 150 concrete panels fell from the roof of a tunnel on the main highway linking Tokyo with central Japan. Efforts to rescue any survivors trapped inside the tunnel were hindered by heavy smoke after one vehicle caught fire inside the Sasago Tunnel, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) outside Tokyo. Rescuers also temporarily suspended work because of fears of a further collapse. They were attempting to reach at least several vehicles believed buried in the rubble, including a truck whose driver was trapped inside and had called his company for help. "I could hear voices of people calling for help, but the fire was just too strong," said a woman interviewed by public broadcaster NHK after she escaped from the tunnel. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency issued a statement late Sunday saying five people were confirmed to have been in a car that burned inside the tunnel, and at least one other was in a truck. However, officials said they could not confirm the exact number of people believed dead. Executives for Central Japan Expressway Co. said the company was investigating why the concrete panels had given way. A check of the 4.7-kilometer (3-mile) tunnel's roof in September and October found nothing amiss, they said. It said two people were confirmed hurt, but the injuries were not severe. The tunnel, which opened in 1977, is one of many in mountainous Japan. The location of the collapse, about 1.7 kilometers (a mile) inside the tunnel, was complicating rescue efforts, reports said. Police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances were massed outside the tunnel's entrance.