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Photo: Eliad Levy
Police say suspects liable for stage collapse
Police sources say engineer, safety consultant and owner of stage design firm responsible for negligence that caused fatal incident
The police have claimed that the three suspects arrested in connection with the stage accident that killed an IDF officer on Wednesday are responsible for a "long line of failures."


Superintendent Isaac Simon said during a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court that the police intend to bar the three from continuing their work on the project.


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A safety consultant and an engineer working for Design Group, as well as one of the company's owners, are suspected of causing negligent
death, forgery and obtainment through fraud. The company was put in charge of erecting the stage structures that collapsed on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl during rehearsals for an Independence Day ceremony, killing Second-Lieutenant Hila Bezaleli and injuring several others.


The court ordered the engineer, Oren Warshavsky, and the owner, Eliad Lavi, to be freed on limited terms, but Simon motioned to delay their release. They are to be kept in jail until the appeal is heard on Friday morning.


"I'm very sory about what happened," one of the suspects said prior to Thursday's hearing. "I know Hila's mother from work, and I pained over it. It's very sad."


Simon identified the conduct that lead to the accident as "negligence of the highest order," citing a preliminary investigation.


"The continued staging of the event poses mortal danger, and we intend to prevent it," a police official said.


"They have built a safe structure in compliance with the permits that were received from the engineer that was hired by the company," Attorney Koby Kamar, who represents the Design Group, argued. "The structure stood there without incident for two weeks. If something occurred later, the safety consultant hired by the diplomacy center should have recognized the problem."


Eight people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with in incident.


The fate of the annual Independence Day ceremony remains uncertain. The dress rehearsal that was scheduled for Monday has been cancelled. The Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs said it would announce the plans for the event at a later time.




פרסום ראשון: 04.19.12, 16:19
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