hadera - Itzik Ben-Malki - February 16 2011
Collapsed home in Hadera, February 16, 2011. Photo by Itzik Ben-Malki
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A 75-year-old woman has died after being trapped underneath rubble when the roof of her home collapsed on Wednesday, apparently from a gas explosion. While emergency rescue workers scanned the area trying to find the woman's husband, he arrived at the tragic scene, where he learned that his wife was trapped under the rubble. 

A large explosion was heard coming from the couple's home in Hadera on Wednesday morning. The explosion caused the entire ceiling to collapse to the floor of the couple's two-room house. A fire broke out on the spot, and was extinguished soon after by firefighters.

"Efforts are underway and firefighters are working on two fronts, to put out the fire and to break up the concrete roof that fell to the floor in its entirety," fire chief Lahav Dudu Vanunu told Army Radio.

Police said Wednesday morning that they were unsure whether the victim had survived the accident while she was still trapped under the rubble. Army Radio reported that the woman had died.   

Deputy Commander of Hadera Police Rami Raz said, "The explosion of a gas tank could have caused this, if the structure is old and not up to modern building standards."

A neighbor of the couple told Channel 2 that she heard a huge explosion and thought it was a terror attack. "I ran outside and saw the other neighbors screaming and sobbing. The house collapsed, it's a small house. It's not even a house, really, it's a tiny shack made out of blocks."