The first few cars being salvaged from the scene of what was a horrific tragedy in Japan. On a quiet Sunday morning, commuters drove through Sasago tunnel, a major highway in Yamanashi prefecture, 50 miles away from Tokyo, with no idea what would happen next. Huge slabs of concrete gave way from the roof and the walls, engulfing countless cars. It's still not clear how many. A fire then broke out and we now know that at least nine people died, but police fear they may find more people trapped in their cars. Rescuers are still scouring the site.

According to Japan's NHK, the tunnels' ceiling panels hadn't been repaired or reinforced since they were built 35 years ago, but the panels apparently passed safety checks in September. A safety chief at the scene told reporters it looked like the top anchor bolts had come loose.

As the emergency operation was in full swing, safety was the top of the agenda for the Japanese government. The country's Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has launched an enquiry into why nothing was spotted in the tunnel's latest inspection two months ago. And – with there being at least 20 tunnels in Japan - which were constructed using similar slabs, the government's ordered the highway firm's which built them to carry out emergency inspections of them all.

Written and presented by Marverine Cole