3 killed in Jaffa explosion likely caused by gas leak

An explosion at a store in Jaffa killed three and wounded five. Police are investigating cause of the deadly blast.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

A powerful explosion at a construction materials store in Jaffa on Monday night killed three people and wounded five others.

The explosion, which occurred in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood located in south Tel Aviv/Jaffa, is suspected to have been caused by a gas leak or an electrical short circuit, and the store’s flammable contents contributed to the lethal combustion.

Emergency and rescue teams worked through the night to recover victims from the rubble of the building, which had completely collapsed.

United Hatzalah emergency medical service volunteers, who were among the first responders at the scene, reported that the fire was widespread and included the building and vehicles nearby.

A car passing alongside the store as it exploded was badly damaged and the passengers were wounded.

The three victims were identified restaurant employees who were killed while sleeping in a nearby building.

Local residents described a huge blast that led to initial fears of a missile or terror attack. Large plumes of smoke billowed above the neighborhood before firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze.

While the exact cause of the blast has yet to be determined, terrorism was ruled out.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Tuesday an investigation is under way to discover the cause of the large explosion. Police are investigated the possibility that a form of negligence had led to the deadly incident.