Huldai launching half-marathon, Friday
Photo: Avi Hai

TA mayor says not responsible for runner's death

Ron Huldai responds to criticism following Friday's tragedy, says medical sources approved half-marathon under 'reasonable' weather conditions. 'A person died at the Barcelona marathon. Did anyone complain to the mayor?' he asks

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai responded Monday evening to the criticism directed at him following the approval of the half-marathon held in the city on Friday despite hot weather conditions, which resulted in the death of an IDF career officer and the hospitalizations of dozens of runners, some in serious condition.


Speaking during a City Council discussion, Huldai said: "Yesterday a person died during the Barcelona marathon. I asked my staff to check the Spanish media for any complaints toward the Barcelona mayor for holding the race."


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The meeting was held several hours after the Municipality announced its decision to cancel the full marathon planned for this Friday, which was postponed from last week due to the heat.


The decision was made following Health Ministry estimates that the weather this weekend would be hot and dry as well.

מיכאל מיכאלוביץ'. "כמו אדם שנכנס לים"

Michael Michaelvich who died after TA marathon


Huldai had planned to read a short announcement, but his remarks sparked a blatant exchange of accusations between him and City Council opposition members.


"During the Tel Aviv marathon event, Michael Michaelvich died and we all send our condolences to his family," the mayor said at the start of the meeting. "This painful incident obliges us to deeply examine our conduct and draw the required conclusions and lessons ahead of similar events in the future."


Huldai welcomed the decision to appoint a Health Ministry committee to determine concrete procedures for future events.


"The Municipality staff held professional discussions with senior health officials. We fully accepted the recommendations submitted by the medical officials, led by the Health Ministry, and operated accordingly."


At this stage, Ir Lekulanu ("A City for All") Councilman Sharon Luzon lashed out at the mayor, saying that "the recommendation was to cancel everything. There was no reason to hold the event. Eighty people were hurt.


"There was a pre-warning to be twice as careful. Wasn't 2011 enough for you?" He added, referring to marathon held in the city two years ago, which also resulted in the death of one of the participants.


Addressing claims that he was responsible for the tragedy, Huldai said: "If a person goes into the sea at night, I can't take responsibility for him."

"And what if he enters a designated beach with a lifeguard?" Luzon asked.


"And what if he arrived at a designated beach and decided to take a 1-kilometer swim, got tired and drowned? Am I responsible for him in that case too?" Huldai replied.


"Luzon doesn't care about the facts. He's a political rival… He'll stand outside and protest with five people in order to get some headlines. The half-marathon was held under reasonable weather conditions according to all opinions given."



פרסום ראשון: 03.19.13, 10:36
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