An apartment building in the central city of Holon has toppled a day after all residents were evacuated for fear of imminent collapse, Fire and Rescue Services said on Sunday.
First responders were called to the scene on Saturday after tenants reported hearing a loud blast sound. Large cracks appeared on the building walls and police said residents were unable to open the front doors of their apartments.
Rescue forces then began evacuating all 32 families residing in the building on the Tel Aviv suburb's Serlin Street.
The building then collapsed entirely the following day and scattering debris all over the area. An adjacent building, from which the tenants were also evacuated, was also damaged partially damaged.
Municipal engineers arrived at the site to examine whether the collapse also affected the structural integrity of other blocks nearby.
Tenants of the collapsed building, who have now become homeless, pleaded for help from authorities.
"Social workers came here on Saturday to calm us and give us water," said Hagit Levy, a tenant at the building. "We are asking the mayor to help us, there are families here who are left with nothing, we have become homeless."
Levy said that she and her daughters, who are now staying with her brother, barely had any time to salvage any of their belonging before the collapse.
"You see your life being destroyed in front of your very eyes. We couldn't sleep all night, we do not know what to do," she said.
Naor Navon, who was at the scene at the time of the collapse, said that he, his wife and two children are planning to stay in a hotel for the coming days and blasted local authorities for their response to the event.
"We look at the ruins and realize that our lives have been destroyed, alongside our memories and belongings. We're now in the street and have nowhere to go," he lamented.
"City hall provided us with a disgraceful solution. They opened a community center for us, with mattresses on the floor and sleeping bags, where 32 families are expected to live without showers and with just one toilet restroom? It's a disgrace."
Holon Mayor Moti Sasson said that the municipality will continue to help tenants as they look for residence arrangements.
"Our hearts go out to the families at this very difficult time but we must remember that a horrible disaster in Holon has been prevented today," he said.
"The municipal engineers realized already on Saturday that this was a dangerous structure and hurried to evacuate its occupants. The whole area was quickly cordoned and we prevented tenants and other curious passersby who came to the place from entering. I thank the dedicated municipal employees who in their professional and prompt action prevented casualties. The municipality will continue to assist residents as much as possible."