Woman killed as light fixture collapses at Yavneh wedding

Woman killed as light fixture collapses at Yavneh wedding

Twenty-one guests injured; police shutter site, question owners and manager

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A 50-year-old woman was killed and 21 people were injured when a mechanical lighting fixture collapsed overnight Monday during a wedding ceremony at an event hall in the central Israeli city of Yavneh.

Medical teams arrived at the city’s ADIA hall after receiving a call saying the large device came crashing down upon a large number of guests during the wedding of Mor and Karin Hayoun, wounding many.

Paramedics and medical personnel treated the injured individuals at the scene and transported them to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Be’er Yaakov, and the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

“There was commotion, some of the wounded were walking and some were lying at the center of the hall and the people there were terrified and tried to remove themselves from the hall,” paramedic Mike Perez, who arrived at the scene, said in a press statement.

“This is an unimaginable event, it looked like a terrorist attack,” Yael Hassan, the aunt of the groom, told the Walla news site. “People started looking for each other, the wounded were everywhere. The wedding had 600 guests, at the height of the event. The light fixture was an attraction in itself. It went up and down and then fell on the visitors.

“This lovely couple who wanted to wed in a luxurious hall. They had invested a lot of money to honor their guests. We did not believe it would end like this.”

Following the event, police interrogated two of the hall’s owners, as well as its event manager, and issued a 30-day closure order for the place.

Police said the event hall was operating without a license.

“We’ve never had any problems with the light fixture,” the event manager stressed Tuesday during an interview with Israel Radio. “There were no signs that such an incident would happen.”

Police were set to question the hall owners again later Tuesday.

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