Death toll in Tel Aviv construction site collapse rises to 4
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The body of a worker was pulled from the rubble of the collapse of a four-level underground parking structure under construction in Tel Aviv, bringing the death toll to four.
The third and fourth bodies were located several hours apart on Tuesday afternoon.
Three other workers, Israeli and Palestinian, are believed to still be trapped under the rubble more than 24 hours after the collapse at the building site late Monday morning. At least 20 people were injured in the accident.
One of the dead has been identified as a Ukrainian worker.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site late Monday night, eschewing the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match between Israel and Italy being held in Jerusalem. The site was swarming with search-and-rescue personnel.
“I am constantly monitoring the rescue efforts at the disaster site in Tel Aviv,” Netanyahu said Tuesday morning as he boarded a flight for a two-day state visit in the Netherlands, adding that he was “deeply impressed by the work of the rescue units led by the GOC Home Front Command.”
“The people are doing exceptional work on the highest professional level to be found anywhere in the world,” he said. “There are still people trapped; we are making every effort and are not giving up on anyone. We will reach them all.”
Dudi Mizrahi, the head of the Israeli army’s Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit, said Monday evening that the search-and-rescue operation could go on for days. He said “the chances of finding anyone alive” were less likely with each passing hour, according to The Times of Israel.
Some 300 Israeli army search-and-rescue personnel have been involved in the search, as well as 160 rescue workers from the fire department. A K-9 unit also is on the scene to assist in locating the missing workers.
Police have placed a gag order on details of the investigation into what caused the collapse, according to Haaretz, which reported that a number of serious safety accidents have occurred in recent months at sites under construction by Danya Cebus, the company operating the site where Monday’s collapse occurred. An accident three months ago occurred at the same site, according to Haaretz.