Third victim pulled from construction-site rubble, four still missing
Work continued throughout the night to locate and rescue survivors from a building collapse in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood in Tel Aviv; so far, three victims have been pulled from the rubble, while more are feared trapped underneath.
Meanwhile a frantic search is still being carried out by rescuers to locate four missing persons. Hundreds of IDF Homefront Command search and rescue services are working around the clock to find them. Twenty-three people have been injured, and most of them have already been released from the hospital.
Over 500 IDF Homefront Command soldiers and officers are working around the clock to locate the missing construction workers. The IDF reported that they are working to extricate the body from the rubble. "We are in the golden hour," said Lt. Col. Yair Pinto of the Ram unit of the IDF Homefront Command. "We have another 12-14 hours (before the probability of finding survivors greatly diminishes), therefore we're putting in the maximum efforts we can."
"We are still trying to find people alive in the collapse. We believe that there is always a chance of finding someone alive," said Lt. Col. Pinto.
"We won't leave until we find everyone, and we hope they'll be alive… the ones who were alive were on the upper levels, so it was easier to find and save them. The issue now is getting down to the first level, which is where several of the victims are."
Head of the IDF Homefront Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick said that " (we have) the best rescue personnel and with our experience – it can be seen here. We will not give up on our mission, and we will continue to be here for as long as necessary."
The head of the IDF Search and Rescue Unit, Lt. Col. (ret.) Dudi Mizrachi added "we will work until we pull the last victim out of the rubble."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the disaster site, deciding to go there as opposed to the European qualifying soccer match between Israel and Italy, and before a state visit to The Netherlands.
Netanyahu said "the (rescue operation) is of the highest quality, and the objective is to save human life. I think that we will learn a lot of lessons here, some of which have already been learned and implemented. We are not sparing any effort to save these people. We know where they are, and I hope and pray that we will reach them on time."
Yoav Zitun, Itay Blumental, Roten Elizera, Itamar Eichner, and Shahar Chai contributed to this report.