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Sixth, final body found at site of Tel Aviv garage collapse

Rescue operations come to an end as army finds remains of last missing person killed in Monday accident

Search and rescue workers remove a third body from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage in Tel Aviv on September 6, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Search and rescue workers remove a third body from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage in Tel Aviv on September 6, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The body of the sixth and last construction worker killed in Monday’s garage collapse in Tel Aviv was found by rescue workers on Saturday, bringing rescue operations to their unhappy conclusion five days after the disaster at the four-story underground facility.

The military’s search and rescue forces from the Home Front Command said they were preparing to extract the body of the final missing person from the rubble at the site. The identity of the man has not yet been released.

On Friday rescue workers found the bodies of the fourth and fifth missing persons, which were buried under the sand and debris.

So far three of the six victims have been named as Oleg Yakubov (60) from Tel Aviv, Dennis Dyachenko (28), a foreign worker from Ukraine, and Ihad Ajhaj (34), a Palestinian from Bayt Rima, northwest of Ramallah.

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 the fatal collapse in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood.

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, the panel heard.

Galina Yakubov, whose husband Oleg Yakubov was killed in the collapse of a garage in Ramat Hahayal, talks to the media at her Tel Aviv home on September 7, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Galina Yakubov, whose husband Oleg Yakubov was killed in the collapse of a garage in Ramat Hahayal, talks to the media at her Tel Aviv home on September 7, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

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 a police investigation into the collapse. “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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