As spotlights illuminated the site of the tragic building collapse in Tel Aviv, rescue workers continued to search through the rubble for survivors late Monday night.
Three people were killed and four people are still missing, trapped beneath the stone, plaster and metal of the parking garage that was under construction. Two of the five were contacted by rescuers earlier in the day, but contact was lost before they could be reached. The digging goes on despite fading hopes that they will yet be found alive.
Deputy Commander of the Rescue Unit, Major Ariel Lubiner, described the scene to Army Radio: “It’s an integrated effort, with a combination of manual labor, hoes, shovels, evacuation baskets; mini loaders are also there to help, and mobile detection is enabled.
“Digging, digging, digging – until we get to concrete or – G-d forbid – something else,” Lubiner said.
Meanwhile, additional eyewitness accounts emerged from the day’s events:
“I was working on floor ‘minus 1,’” a construction worker at the site, Nicola, told Army Radio. “I didn’t feel anything. Suddenly we heard falling rocks and we saw that the area was starting to sink; I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a stairwell close by and we ran to it, helped along by the blasts of air caused by the collapse.”
Commenting on the reported shaking of the building prior to the collapse, he said: “I felt that same [shaking] but I didn’t think it was anything significant; that kind of shaking happens all the time in parking garages.”
Updated Monday, September 5, 2016 at 9:30 pm casualties