Israeli rescue team recovers body of missing rabbi in Mexico

Israeli search-and-rescue volunteers at the site of the latest earthquake in Mexico recovered the body of Haim Ashkenazi, father-in-law of Mexico’s chief rabbi.

Israeli members of the ZAKA search and rescue unit operating in Mexico on Saturday recovered the body of Haim Ashkenazi from the rubble of the office building in which he was working during the time of the earthquake earlier in the week.

Ashkenazi is the father-in-law of the chief rabbi of Mexico, Rabbi Shlomo Tawil.

ZAKA stated that its volunteers in Mexico have been working continuously together with the Mexican Jewish rescue and recovery organization CADENA since Tuesday, including throughout Rosh Hashana and Shabbat.

Some 300 people were killed by the tremor – the second to hit Mexico in just two weeks. Earlier this month, a powerful quake claimed the lives of at least 90 people when it struck the country’s southern coast.

ZAKA (the Hebrew acronym for Disaster Victim Identification), an Israeli volunteer-based organization with about 1,500 members that was established in 1995, is a non-governmental lifesaving, rescue and recovery unit.

ZAKA has an international division which cooperates with law enforcement, military, and emergency services across the globe. They participated in rescue missions after the tsunami in Thailand, the Columbia shuttle crash, Hurricane Katrina, and many other such disasters. ZAKA specializes in disaster victim identification.

The IDF delegation of 70 search and rescue specialists, including 25 engineers who evaluated the damage and provided assessments and assistance in the disaster zone to some 40 buildings, have been working around the clock in an attempt to locate survivors among the rubble and collapsed buildings.

Mexico was hit with a third earthquake with a 6.2 magnitude on Saturday, halting search efforts for a few hours until engineers could determine whether it was safe to continue the rescue activities.

By: World Israel News Staff