KOFU, YAMANASHI PREF. – The families of five people killed when an expressway tunnel ceiling collapsed in December plan to sue Central Nippon Expressway Co., or NEXCO Central, for damages, their lawyers said Tuesday.
The accident happened Dec. 2 in the Sasago Tunnel in Yamanashi Prefecture on the Tokyo-bound lanes of the Chuo Expressway.
Concrete ceiling slabs collapsed, crushing vehicles and killing nine people.
In their damages lawsuit, to be filed May 15 with the Yokohama District Court, the relatives will claim NEXCO Central was negligent
They believe the company failed to instruct a subsidiary to carry out full inspections of the tunnel, including hammer tests and close visual examinations, when it commissioned the subsidiary last September, the lawyers said.
The relatives initially considered suing the government as well for its failure to supervise the expressway operator, but they decided against this as they feared a lengthy process, according to the lawyers.