Storms Claim Lives of Two Construction Workers

Yesterday's rainy weather claimed the lives of two construction workers on Kibbutz Einat on the coastal plain. The two men, cousins from the Druze town of Daliat al-Carmel, were crushed to death under a mudslide as they were digging a 2-meter-deep sewage ditch at a building site on the kibbutz. The body of one of the workers, about 50 years old, was pulled out of a large puddle shortly after the accident. The body of the other victim was found only several hours later.

The two workers disappeared within seconds yesterday afternoon when the side of the ditch collapsed without warning, while other workers and the foreman - who is the brother of one of the victims - looked on in shock. They began to try to dig out the two men immediately with shovels and their bare hands, but were unsuccessful.

Firefighters from Petah Tikva and Magen David Adom emergency teams from Petah Tikva arrived at the scene quickly, along with police, and were eventually able to lift the two victims out of the mud with the help of a crane.

As rescue operations continued, relatives of the victims arrived on the scene, including the elderly father of one of them. Members of the kibbutz, where residential housing is being built at the site of yesterday's accident, said they knew the men well and would greet them every morning.

Representatives of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry also arrived and launched an investigation of the accident, together with police.

In addition to the two victims of yesterday's mudslide, the stormy weather claimed the lives of two men who drowned Saturday in choppy seas near Netanya. The two were also relatives: Alexander Mashar and his brother-in-law, Nikolai.

Impressive amounts of rain fell over the weekend throughout the country, and more precipitation, and stormy and colder weather are expected to continue today. Forecasters have predicted strong winds and possibly even hail, but did not know whether snow will fall on Mount Hermon.

Rain and low temperatures are to continue tomorrow; however, the storm front will weaken and the rain will probably stop on Wednesday, when warmer temperatures will return.

Meanwhile, forecasters have issued warnings for flood-prone areas. Especially in the desert, sudden flooding resulting from heavy rains has claimed lives in the past, as dry riverbeds turn into churning torrents.

The level of water in Lake Kinneret, which rose by 4 centimeters on account of the recent rain, will likely rise a few more centimeters with the rainfall expected today and tomorrow.