Construction Worker Dies in Tunnel Collapse Near Kibbutz

Noa Shpigel
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An ambulance inside the tunnel, May 15, 2016.
An ambulance inside the tunnel, May 15, 2016.Credit: Magen David Adom
Noa Shpigel

A construction worker died Tuesday morning in a work accident next to Kibbutz Reshafim.

Sliman Faid, 46, of Yafia, was operating heaving mechanical equipment when he got caught in a tunnel collapse at the power plant construction site next to the kibbutz. In May 2015, another construction worker was crushed to death in the tunnel at the site, which Electra Construction and Housing and Construction operate.

Roman Belman, a Magen David Adom paramedic, said: “We arrived at the place in the early morning hours after receiving a call about a worker who was trapped under a tunnel that apparently had collapsed on him. It was impossible to reach the injured man, and we began continuous rescue efforts together with fire fighters. We managed to reach him after three hours and we saw that he was unconscious with multiple injuries. We were left to pronounce him dead.”

The police have opened an investigation into the circumstances of the accident in conjunction with work accident investigators from the Economy and Industry Ministry.

Around the same time, a worker in his early 20s was injured by an object at a Hadera construction site. An MDA team evacuated him to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in moderate condition with head wounds. In the afternoon, a heavy object fell onto a Tel Aviv street, seriously injuring a 48-year-old worker. MDA paramedics evacuated him to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition with multiple injuries. He was under sedation and artificial respiration.

The Economy Ministry commented about the Reshafim accident that an excavator, called a Bagger, had been clearing debris at a depth of 500 meters at the site at the time of the collapse. “It is not known yet if the worker was physically injured or died of lack of oxygen,” the ministry stated. “The Bagger is still covered. An inspector from the safety administration submitted two orders. The first is to submit a plan to excavate the Bagger, and the second is to halt digging works until a plan is prepared for safe work at the site.”

Management of the power plant construction commented: “The company expresses its sorrow about the tragic accident that occurred this morning. Because the matter is being investigated, we decline to comment further. We are doing and will continue to do everything needed to prevent unfortunate incidents like these.”

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