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Photo by: YAAKOV LAPPIN
A lucky escape after Grad strikes Ashdod building
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
11/19/2012
A Palestinian Grad rocket crashed into the roof of an eight-story building in Ashdod.
 
It could have ended so much worse. A Palestinian Grad rocket crashed into the roof of an eight-story building on Sunday afternoon in Ashdod, entering the elevator shaft and descending to the fifth floor, where it exploded.

Home Front Command officials and police inspected the scene of the wreckage on the roof, scarred by a gaping hole and scattered debris.

“I heard an enormous explosion,” said Gabi Klonkie, 30, who lives two buildings away. “I knew it was close when I saw people running in the street afterwards.

There was smell of something burning. Then the ambulances rushed in,” he recalled. “It was terrifying.”

The building’s residents all loyally followed the Home Front Command’s instructions and sought cover in reinforced safe rooms when the air raid siren sounded. The instructions saved lives; two people were lightly injured, and 30 were treated for shock.

“The majority of people took cover, listening to the safety instructions,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, as he toured the scene of the damage. “The rockets came in succession, one after the other,” he added.

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Outside, the Ashdod Municipality set up a tent and a desk for locals to seek help and advise. It was one of many rapid response actions developed by the city as it has become accustomed to living under the Palestinian rocket menace.

A total of three rockets exploded in the Ashdod area that day, as streets remained largely deserted, and roads near empty. The city has been in practical lockdown since the start of the operation in Gaza on Wednesday.

“We’ve gotten used to it,” said one resident, who has taken to sleeping in safe rooms with his children.

“Our children are very frightened. I can see the fear in them,” he added.
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