At least two killed in Tel Aviv construction site collapse

At least two people were killed and more than 20 injured after an under-construction car park collapsed Monday in northern Tel Aviv, according to local emergency services.

Rescuers were attempting to extract seven people from the rubble on Monday evening, according to a police spokeswoman.

Emergency services reported treating 25 people for injuries. One person was seriously hurt, while the others sustained minor injuries.

Videos of the aftermath of the collapse early Monday afternoon showed a large dust cloud over the construction site. An eyewitness told Israeli radio that she heard a large crash and then what felt "like an earthquake" as the site crumbled. 

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Monday that the cause of the accident at the site in Ramat HaChayal was unclear, adding that a crane had not caused the site to collapse, as initially reported.

A fire safety official told Channel 10 news that the site had first partially collapsed, causing a crane to topple, before more of the construction area fell.

The surrounding area remained cordoned off to onlookers over fears of any further collapses, causing traffic obstructions in the area.

The collapse was criticized by some as the latest example of Israel's problems with construction safety.

Zionist Union lawmaker Eyal Ben-Reuven said on the state television broadcaster that "such catastrophes wouldn't happen if people followed safety regulations," adding that too few inspections were being carried out.

According to a study released in May by Israel's Ministry of Economy and the National Insurance Institute, the country has one of the highest rates of construction site accidents among Western countries, with 480 people killed between 2000 and 2015. 

Last update: Mon, 05/09/2016 - 18:03
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