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Worker killed, 2 others hurt in building accidents; crane collapses in Tel Aviv

Death is 39th construction-related fatality in 2019; no injuries as crane falls, though man says he narrowly escaped being hit

The site of a crane collapse in Tel Aviv on October 29, 2019. (video screenshot)
The site of a crane collapse in Tel Aviv on October 29, 2019. (video screenshot)

A construction worker was killed, two others were injured and a crane collapsed in various building accidents throughout the country on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old worker died of a fall in the Druze town of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. He was rushed to Ziv Medical Center in Safed by helicopter but doctors were unable to resuscitate him.

Police were investigating the death, which according to the Haaretz website was the 39th construction-related fatality and 74th death in a work accident overall since the start of 2019.

A second worker was moderately injured after falling at a work site in the Druze town of Isfiya, near Haifa. A third suffered moderate injuries after a fall in Kiryat Ata, also near Haifa. Both were taken to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.

In Tel Aviv, a crane collapsed at a construction site on Solelim Street, falling into an adjacent street and damaging several cars, but causing no casualties.

One passerby said he was driving on the street and narrowly escaped being hit by the crane.

“I hit the gas, instinct [kicked in],” Ra’anan Fadida told the Ynet news site. If he hadn’t done so, he said, he and the friend who was with him would have been killed. “It’s terrifying, I’m still shaking.”

Police said the circumstances of the collapse were being investigated.

A crane collapse in Kfar Saba earlier this year killed a 52-year-old woman.

Deaths of construction workers in Israel are a near-weekly occurrence, largely because of poorly enforced safety codes.

In June, figures released under Freedom of Information laws showed that police have opened criminal investigations in only 25 percent of job site accidents that led to deaths or severe injuries of workers in 2016-2018.

In response to the huge spike in work site accidents, police established a special unit called Peles at the end of 2018, under the aegis of its serious crimes unit Lahav 433, which specializes in accident investigation. However, Haaretz reported in June that the unit had only opened investigations into three of the 38 deadly work accidents that occurred in the first five months of 2019.

Police have said the unit is not meant to investigate every accident, but only those “with unique attributes, like complex accidents involving infrastructure collapse, or the sort that require expertise and resources,” according to a statement.

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