A parking structure under construction collapsed in Tel Aviv on Monday morning, injuring at least 18 people and trapping workers underneath the rubble, the Times of Israel reported.
A number of the building’s floors collapsed in on themselves at a construction site in Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neighborhood, and there is still a danger of further collapse.
Emergency and rescue services immediately rushed to the scene. “When I arrived I found numerous hurt individuals who were conscious and who extricated themselves from the area of the collapse under their own power,” said Moshe Levy, a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah.
“Reports came in of other people who were unaccounted for and likely still trapped inside. Firefighters and rescue teams are working to extricate them.”
The IDF Home Front Command deployed search and rescue teams and doctors to the site, including teams from the Ram, Shaham, and Tavor battalions.
Fifteen workers were rescued from the rubble in the first hour after the collapse. Another three trapped underneath the collapsed structure were dug out by rescuers. But at least two workers remain trapped, and are assumed unconscious.
ZAKA, a first-responder and search and rescue organization, is bringing search dogs from its canine unit to assist in finding the missing workers. The rescue mission is complicated, however, by the fact that most of the building was underground.
Only one of the workers suffered serious injury. Another was in moderate condition, and 16 others were lightly injured. All of the casualties were evacuated to nearby hospitals.
According to reports, the collapse was the result of structure failure after a tractor drove across the upper story of the structure, though some attributed it to the falling of a construction crane nearby.
UPDATED 4:30 PM: Three people have been confirmed killed by the collapse. The IDF Home Command is working to locate and extract seven workers still trapped underneath the rubble. A preliminary investigation suggests that the collapse was likely due to an engineering flaw.