Tokyo - Several people were feared dead in a highway tunnelthat collapsed Sunday in central Japan, police said.
Local media reported that at least two people injured and sevenwere missing after a fire broke out inside the 4.7-kilometre Sasagotunnel on the Chuo Expressway.
Two cars were crushed in the tunnel in Otsuki, about 80 kilometres west of Tokyo, after the 20-centimetre-thick ceiling collapsed in one section, the Kyodo News agency reported.
One injured woman told rescue workers she had escaped from a carin which six people were traveling, Kyodo reported.
Rescue workers temporarily halted operations at around 12:50 pm(0350 GMT) after judging the situation was too dangerous to continue.