Fourth body found in rubble of Tel Aviv garage collapse
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Fourth body found in rubble of Tel Aviv garage collapse

Rescue teams work to retrieve and identify remains; search efforts to find two other missing workers ongoing

Israeli rescue workers at the site where a building collapsed in Tel Aviv's Ramat Hahayal neighborhood, September 6, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israeli rescue workers at the site where a building collapsed in Tel Aviv's Ramat Hahayal neighborhood, September 6, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Home Front Command on Friday located the body of another construction worker in the rubble of a collapsed garage complex in Tel Aviv, raising the death toll from Monday’s disaster to four.

Rescue personnel were working to retrieve the man’s remains from the wreckage of the four-story subterranean garage for identification and burial.

Efforts were also ongoing Friday to locate two other missing workers, as hope dwindled that the hundreds of rescue personnel digging through the site would pull them out alive.

Two victims killed in the collapse earlier this week were named on Wednesday as Oleg Yakubov, aged 60 from Tel Aviv, and Dennis Dyachenko, 28, a Ukrainian national employed in Israel.

The name of a third fatality, Ihad Ajhaj, 34, from Bayt Rima, northwest of Ramallah, was made public on Tuesday.

Search and rescue workers remove a third body from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage in Tel Aviv on September 6, 2016. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
Search and rescue workers remove a third body from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage in Tel Aviv on September 6, 2016. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)

The construction site was inspected in June and was not found to pose “significant” safety hazards, and the collapse was the result of an engineering failure, a Knesset panel was told on Thursday.

The Knesset’s Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee on Thursday summoned representatives from the Danya Cebus construction company, various government ministries and police to address Monday’s fatal collapse at the building site in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood.

Varda Edwards, the head of the Economy Ministry’s Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene, said the site of the garage complex — which was nearing completion — was not found to have “significant flaws” when it was inspected in June.

“There were no significant flaws,” she told the Knesset committee, describing it overall as a “relatively good inspection.”

Echoing Edwards, the chairman of the Danya Cebus company insisted the building site complied with government safety standards.

“It’s not an issue of safety,” said Ronen Ginsburg, adding that an engineer had supervised the project. “It was an engineering failure.”

Ginsburg vowed his company would cooperate fully with police. “We won’t conceal anything and we will hand over all the materials needed for the investigation.”

Details of the investigation remained under a gag order on Friday.

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