(May 20, 2019 / JNS) A total of 17 people have been detained and 11 questioned as criminal suspects, with four others placed under house arrest, in connection to the collapse on Sunday of a crane at a construction site in Yavne that killed four people.
Two more people were injured in the incident, which occurred when part of a crane broke apart as a team tried to disassemble it.
According to a report in Israel’s Walla news, the crane’s counter-jib with its concrete ballast blocks collapsed, killing three construction workers, who were declared dead at the scene.
A fourth victim dangled for approximately an hour as emergency medical and rescue personnel tried to reach him, before he, too, was declared dead at the scene.
Only one of the victims has been named: Gil Hazazi of Hadera, a 51-year-old husband and father of three.
Another of the victims was identified as a 22-year-old resident of Tel Aviv. His mother, according to reports, arrived to Israel from abroad to bury her son.
One of the victims had just turned 33 on Sunday and had celebrated that weekend with a parachute jump. His father and brothers, who also work on cranes, arrived at the site on Sunday, with the father demanding that his remaining sons never again do such work.
Those brought in for questioning were connected with the firm that operates the crane and officials connected to the building site.
Israel’s Labor and Welfare Ministry is also involved in the investigation.
Last Thursday, one construction worker was killed in Petach Tikvah, and another in Bnei Brak. According to the Workers’ Hotline organization, 38 construction workers were killed on the job in 2018. To date in 2019, 20 construction workers have died.
The Histadrut labor federation reached a deal last year enhancing safety regulations at building sites, including mandatory scaffolding and the regulation of cranes.