Death toll in construction site collapse in Tel Aviv rises to three

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 6 (UPI) — The death toll rose to three Tuesday after the collapse of a four-floor underground parking garage in Tel Aviv the day before.

Searchers found another body under the rubble around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The blast occurred at 11:24 a.m. Monday.

Col. Dudi Mizrahi said he was optimistic three others trapped are alive.

“No one would be here working this hard if they didn’t believe the people are still alive,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

Among those trapped was Muhammad Dawabsheh, a Palestinian cousin of three members of the Dawabsheh family killed in a firebombing in Duma in July 2015.

Soldiers successfully extracted two people by Monday evening.

At least 20 people were treated after the collapse in Ramat Hahayil, a commercial area north of the city.

The IDF Home Front Command, which helps locate people in natural disasters around the world, is using a new system that tracks cellular devices. The system, called RES-Q-Cell and made by Israel Aerospace Industries, was first unveiled in June. It generates generates a “highly accurate three dimensional” map of survivors, according to the company.

The unit found several victims with its special equipment.

The police are under a gag order from discussing the disaster but announced the arrest of one unidentified person.

During a televised visit to victims at Ichilov Hospital, Knesset member Ayman Odeh urged a wider, statewide investigation into construction workers’ conditions, many of whom are Palestinian or Arab-Israeli. Since the beginning of this year, 32 construction workers were killed, said Odeh, who is head of the Joint List, a political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties.

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