A four-story underground parking lot under construction in Tel Aviv collapsed on Monday, killing two people and wounding dozens.
Just minutes before noon, the structure collapsed, trapping tens of construction workers under the debris.
Emergency teams, including the IDF’s famed Search and Rescue Unit and the ZAKA Canine Unit, were alerted to the scene and began to extract the victims. The emergency services declared it a mass casualty incident.
The rescuers have cleared the first three floors, but have so far not been able to access the bottom floor. Several individuals are missing and are feared to be trapped under the building.
Some of the victims were airlifted to hospitals, while others were evacuated by ambulance. Most victims were in light condition and required only basic medical treatment.
Rescue services have so far extracted 23 trapped victims. At least four are still feared missing.
Witnesses reported that the collapse felt “like an earthquake.” Footage of the scene showed a large, crater-like hole in the ground, and twisted support beams.
Police units worked to keep curious onlookers away out of fear of a further collapse of the remaining structure.
The police stated they have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the tragic incident, while the company responsible for the construction announced it has launched a similar inquiry.
The incident occurred at a construction site in Ramat Hahayal, a commercial area in northern Tel Aviv. The neighborhood is home to many high-tech businesses, restaurants and a hospital.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News