At least seven people are missing and several cars remain trapped after parts of a major road tunnel collapsed in central Japan.
Two people were injured when the roof caved in at the Sasago tunnel, about 80 kilometres west of Tokyo.
It is believed a 100 metre stretch of the structure collapsed.
Eyewitnesses described how they escaped from falling debris, abandoning their vehicles to walk to the other side of the tunnel.
At one point, rescue work at the nearly 5 kilometre-long structure had to be suspended for fear of further collapses.
Some seven hours after the tragedy, police said they had discovered several charred bodies in one vehicle.
An investigation has been launched.