Body of man missing in crane collapse found in sea after five weeks

Remains of Nir Dekel yet to be retrieved from beneath wreckage, with police citing ‘incredibly complex’ efforts to do so

Nir Dekel (Courtesy)
Nir Dekel (Courtesy)

The body of a man who went missing in mid-March when a crane he was working on collapsed into the Mediterranean Sea was located Monday, police said.

Israel Electric Corporation employee Nir Dekel, 54, was killed when high winds at the Rutenberg power station on the coast near Ashkelon brought the crane down on March 14.

Another man who was also killed in the incident was found a day later.

In a joint statement with the IEC, police said that after intensive searches the body has been located under the wreckage, which is in the sea, but has not yet been retrieved, citing the “incredibly complex” efforts to do so.

“We are making every effort to retrieve [the body] as soon as possible,” Ashkelon police commander Meir Hachmon was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Israel Electric Corporation identified the victim as Dekel, of Kibbutz Or Haner, and said it hoped the discovery will help ease the pain of his family. He is survived by his wife and three children.

A view of a crane that collapsed in the sea near Ashkelon, March 14, 2023. (Flash90)

“This is a sad day, but there’s also consolation in it. Now we can bury Nir,” Hofit Dekel told the Ynet news site.

She predicted they would extract his body in the coming days.

The other fatality in the incident was previously named as Naftali Edri, 66, a retired Israel Electric Corporation worker. He reportedly had been given special permission to bring his car into an IEC area and fish from the pier where the crane was located.

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