A four-level subterranean parking lot in a building site on HaBarzel Street in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood of Tel Aviv collapsed Monday morning. At least two persons have been killed while several are said to be missing and 23 were injured.
Emergency services and rescue teams were immediately called to the scene to recover the injured and missing buried in the rubble. Four hours after the collapse, two people, who could be heard screaming beneath the carnage, were located and extricated with the help of the IDF's dog unit and the Homefront Command. The two were reported to be fully conscious and were able to communicate with the rescue teams. They were evacuated in moderate condition to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and Tel HaShomer in Ramat Gan.
Twenty-three persons are said to be in fair condition, and five have already been discharged. They have all been brought to area hospitals.
A spokesman from the police said to Ynet, "Several floors of the building collapsed. There's a danger of an additional collapse of both the building and the surrounding area because of the pit that was created by the collapse."
Firefighters and police were also called to the scene to aid in the rescue effort. Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv prepared to receive the injured.
In addition, some 120 soldiers from the Homefront Command, including the Shahar, Ram and Tavor Brigades and the command's reserves search-and-rescue unit arrived with advanced equipment to assist with which the trapped persons were located. GOC Homefront Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick himself came to the scene, along with Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh.
The building site belongs to the companies Danya Cebus and Isael Africa. Sources in Tel Aviv Municipality stated that the affected parking lot is Ahuzot Hof, a subsidiary of the municipality. According to the city, the garage is supposed to have four levels constructed with an area of 17,000 square meters. The project began in November 2014 and was supposed to reach completion at the beginning of 2017.
Yoram Levy, a spokesman for the Firefighting and Rescue Commission, updated, "There are people who are buried under the sand. We've called on every possible team. More than 60 firefighters have reached the scene. We've begun with manual work. We've asked for help from the Homefront Command in light of the situation. We had a house collapse in Acre a few years ago, and it took a long time to clear it out."
The Israel Police asked the public to clear the surrounding area to permit the security forces freer movement. They also expressed that there is a danger that further parts of the site might collapse.
Eli Senyor, Itay Blumental, Yoav Zitun & Hila Tsion contributed to this report.