Galilee Boy, 7, Crushed to Death by Falling Rock While Playing Outside

A 7-year-old boy was killed by a falling rock yesterday while playing with his friends near his home in the northern community of Or Haganuz.

The rock fell from a pile that had been heaped up during construction work in the town, and police are investigating whether the contractor responsible for the work was guilty of negligence.

The incident occurred shortly before 9 A.M., when Meir Sadan and two friends were playing on the rock pile. Suddenly, the rock on which Meir was standing began to slide, causing him to fall with it. But he landed first, and the rock crushed him to death.

Local residents rushed to extricate him, but he was already dead by the time they succeeded. It took five men to lift the heavy rock off of him.

According to Chief Inspector David Citrin of the Safed police station, police suspect the contractor of negligence on two counts: first, piling up the rocks in an unstable fashion, and second, not building a fence that would have prevented access to the rock pile.

Yesterday was also the 35th anniversary of the death of Meir's grandfather, paratrooper Moti Sadan, in the Yom Kippur War. Thus Meir's father, Ophir, was in the synagogue reciting the traditional memorial prayers when the news reached him of this second bereavement.

"This is the most heart-rending case I've encountered in my 20 years of work with the police," Citrin said.