Firefighters remove elevator warning

Israel Electric Company foresees no further power disruptions. [video]

By DANIEL KENNEMER, , JPOST STAFF
June 4, 2006 17:11
2 minute read.
gideon ezra face 298.88

gideon ezra face 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Firefighters removed on Tuesday afternoon their public warning against using elevators after Israel Electric Company (IEC) officials said that following two days of power outages across the country, they expected no further disruptions in the flow of electricity. [For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here]. Earlier on Tuesday, Dani Weinstock, who was appointed as head of the team set up by the National Infrastructure Ministry to investigate how the IEC handled the crisis, told Army Radio, "If our investigations determine that the IEC was at fault, we will not hesitate to point directly at those responsible." After the second day of outages, Environment Minister Gidon Ezra (Kadima) agreed to reopen Tel Aviv's Reading Power Station on Monday in the wake of pressure from the IEC following power outages across the country. Ezra guaranteed that after three weeks the station - which has become notorious for its high level of pollution emission - would begin to use natural gas.

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The decision was made, ironically, on International Environment Day. On Monday, the outages claimed the first fatality: one person was killed and three were injured in two road accidents in the north that appeared to have been caused by traffic lights failing to work due to outages in the region. The victim was later identified as Daniel Dahan, 19, from Ta'anachim near Afula. High alert was declared in IDF information technology units due to the power cuts and an IAF control unit started using generators. In the south, power outages temporarily disabled the Red Dawn early warning system, designed to detect Kassam rockets and missiles. The system was functional by Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, Magen David Adom began a campaign calling for stickers to be affixed in all elevators detailing basic instructions on opening respiratory airways and saving lives. Some of the hundreds of people who were trapped in elevators during power cuts on Monday felt unwell. An electricity outage in the Negev almost killed a 68-year-old Ofakim man who suffered from chronic respiratory syndrome and was permanently attached to a respirator. He was rushed unconscious to hospital by an MDA team. The stickers, meant for display in elevators in all residential, commercial and public buildings, should be at a point one meter from the floor so it can be read easily while someone is on his knees. The stickers can be obtained from any MDA station and will also be distributed by volunteers around the country. On Monday morning, police and firefighters asked residents primarily in the Dan region to refrain from using elevators until 6 p.m. There were more than 35 incidences when people who were stuck in elevators had to be rescued since the power outages started on Sunday evening. Neighborhoods in the Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon areas were plunged into darkness. The power also went out in Sderot for a short while.


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