Body pulled from collapsed garage as rescuers dig for remaining workers
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Body pulled from collapsed garage as rescuers dig for remaining workers

More than 24 hours after building’s 4 stories gave way, 3 people still missing in the destroyed structure

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

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)

Search and rescue workers pulled the body of a victim from the rubble of a parking garage in Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon, over 24 hours after the structure collapsed, killing at least three people.

As of Tuesday afternoon, another three people were still missing, and soldiers from the IDF Home Front Command’s search and rescue units were working around the clock to locate and free the trapped construction workers from the wreckage of the four-story structure.

The man was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene, the army said.

At least 20 people were injured when the structure collapsed Monday morning.

One fatality was identified as a 28-year-old Ukrainian national, another was a 34-year-old Palestinian from Bayt Rima in the northern West Bank. The identity of the other deceased victim has not been officially released.

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

Hundreds of reserve and conscripted soldiers from the IDF Home Front Command’s search and rescue units, along with members of the Israel Police, Fire Service and Magen David Adom ambulance service, have been operating on the scene since the four-story underground garage collapsed suddenly late Monday morning.

As the body was pulled out, wrapped in a white bag and carried on a stretcher across the site, many of the hundreds of IDF soldiers and rescue workers at the site paused, while others continued working, filling large cloth bags with sand and rubble.

The body was laid at the bottom of the staircase leading out of the garage, where rescuers started the process of identifying the deceased construction worker.

Members of the press pushed to try and film the process. “Let us give this guy a final honor. It’s a human story,” one cameraman said.

But handlers from the Home Front Command insisted that the journalists leave. There was more work to be done, they said.

The fates of the other three missing men were not known, but rescue workers held out hope, noting that people can and have been found alive 24 hours after building collapses, Maj. Dan Diamant of the Home Front Command told The Times of Israel on the scene of the disaster site.

Rescue workers toil to find survivors in the ruins of a parking garage a day after it collapsed in Tel Aviv, September 6, 2016 (Miriam Alster FLASH90)
Rescue workers toil to find survivors in the ruins of a parking garage a day after it collapsed in Tel Aviv, September 6, 2016 (Miriam Alster FLASH90)

The sister of Roslan Iskov, one of the missing construction workers from Acre, said she was still hopeful that her brother would be found alive. “We are still praying for him,” she told Channel 2 news.

Investigators have placed a gag order on details of a probe into what caused the collapse, but workers described feeling a shaking in the structure in the hours before it happened.

The victims were taken to several nearby hospitals, including Ichilov, Beilinson, Tel Hashomer and Asuta, the latter of which is located right next to the scene.

The hospitals opened an emergency hotline (dial 1255133 from any Israeli phone line) for families seeking to check if their relatives are among the injured.

Editor’s note: This story earlier erroneously reported a higher death toll, based on incorrect calculations and figures provided by officials.

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