Two construction workers died in Ashdod on Wednesday when a wall collapsed on them at a construction site.
The two men were employees of a subcontractor for the Israel Electric Corporation, which was doing infrastructure work in the southern port city. The Labor Ministry said an initial assessment found that a wall collapsed on them during excavations for underground electric cables.
Ministry safety officials and police were dispatched to the scene, and an investigation was opened.
Fire and Rescue Services were able to pull the men out from beneath the rubble. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said in a statement that medics who arrived found both men, said to be in their fifties, unconscious and with severe head injuries.
Efforts to resuscitate them were unsuccessful and the two were declared dead at the scene.
“In recent years, work accidents in Israel have turned into a sick evil that is claiming many victims,” Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur said.
“According to the data, a significant part of the accidents are caused by negligence and disregard for the provisions of the law,” he added.
He vowed to “not allow human lives to be disrespected” and called on all relevant parties to act responsibly and join the “determined struggle to eradicate work accidents and regulate lawlessness.”
Ben-Tzur said he had ordered an increase in the supervision of work sites to uncover lax safety practices and “save human lives.”
The deaths came less than two weeks after a construction worker was killed by a collapsing wall at a site in the central district city of Bnei Brak.
A week before that, two construction workers were killed within minutes of each other in separate accidents at different locations.
Deaths of construction workers in Israel are a frequent occurrence, largely because of poorly enforced safety codes.