Man Trapped in Tel Aviv Collapse Rubble Told Wife of Safety Flaws Just Days Ago

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Rescue workers at the site of the collapsed underground parking lot in Tel Aviv's Ramat Hahayal neighborhood, on September 6, 2016.
Rescue workers at the site of the collapsed underground parking lot in Tel Aviv's Ramat Hahayal, on September 6, 2016.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Four people are still trapped under the rubble of the underground parking garage that collapsed Monday in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood of Tel Aviv: two from Acre and two from the West Bank.

On Tuesday a third body was located in the debris; the other two have already been removed. One of those killed was a foreign worker.

One of the trapped men is Ruslan Iskov, from Acre, who is married and has a young daughter. Two others are Palestinians from the West Bank: Mohammed Taleb Dawabsheh, 29, a married father of two daughters from the village of Duma, and Ahed Arimawi from Beit Rima. The fourth man still buried under the rubble is Oleg Mishaelov, from Acre, who has two daughters, aged 4 and 8.

Mishaelov’s wife Yana said Tuesday that Oleg – who has worked for 16 years installing security doors for the Palraz firm, for which Iskov also works  – had recently told her about safety flaws at the construction site in Ramat Hahayal.

“He told me that an elevator fell there a couple day ago. He was always telling me that it was really dangerous there,” said Yana Mishaelov, adding that her husband wanted to switch jobs but couldn’t. “He said he had no choice. He had to earn money, and I’m not working.”

Mishaelov said the police contacted her Monday evening and promised to come to her home, but had not done so yet.

“I’m angry,” she said. “How could they send someone to work there like that? They have a tractor working on the roof and the building isn’t ready. It was wrong to do that.”

The last time she spoke to her husband was Monday morning: “He called at 7:30 and talked to his daughter. It was her first time in kindergarten and he called to wish her good luck.”

The police have so far questioned a number of officials from the companies that operate and work at the site, including international construction firm Danya Cebus, which is in charge of the parking garage project.

Company CEO Ronen Ginzburg explained in a January 2013 interview with the Calcalist financial paper that the project would be led by an architect rather than an engineer because architects are more economical and are more suited to managing complex projects.

On Tuesday morning, Ginzburg denied that he had employed an architect to oversee the work instead of an engineer in order to save money. Interviewed by Israel's Channel 2 News, he said: “That’s total nonsense, obviously. The reporter didn’t understand correctly. That’s completely untrue.”

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