Japanese tunnel disaster – Lesson for other countries

Japanese tunnel disaster – Lesson for other countries

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Experts have opined that the deadly tunnel collapse incident in Japan might serve as a lesson for other countries as well, in terms of timely upgrades to aging infrastructure. Trillions of dollars have to be spent across the globe for maintenance and the current financial situation in many countries is tightening the need to push repairs down the list in terms of priority.

Toshihiro Nagahama, the chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute said, “Maintenance work is often neglected because you cannot easily see the urgent need for it”. On December 2, 2012, about nine people were killed as concrete panels crashed in to three vehicles inside the Sasago tunnel, which is 80 Km West of Tokyo, Japan.

The cause of the cave collapse is not yet known, but an initial probe has pointed out that the ageing fixture have been holding more than 1 ton panels on the roof for the past 35 years. An immediate inspection into all the structures has been ordered by the Japanese government and the police have begun a criminal investigation.

The recent incident has sent jitters throughout Japan, which is considered to be one of the most engineered countries in the world. It has also seen a huge infrastructure boom in recent decades, especially after the World War II.