A massive gas explosion was narrowly averted Tuesday morning after residents of Armon Hanatziv reported high concentrations of leaking gas and subsequently discovered two deliberately severed gas lines to their building, police said.
According to a police spokesman, upon smelling the odorous gas several residents promptly contacted officers who arrived within minutes along with Magen David Adom and firefighting units to prevent an imminent and deadly blast.
“The pipes were intentionally cut which caused extreme danger, so police evacuated three buildings in the area and shut off the gas supply,” the police official said shortly after the incident.
“Thankfully, we managed to prevent an explosion.”
While stopping short of conclusively deeming the crime a terrorist attack, the official said police are investigating a number of possibilities to determine the motivation behind it.
“This was very suspicious and a special investigation unit is investigating all possible directions,” the spokesperson said. “There would have been an explosion within minutes if the gas was not shut down.”
The scare comes roughly one month after a family of three and its neighbor were killed in a Gilo gas explosion resulting from negligence.
Avraham and Galit Tufan, ages 56 and 42 respectively, and their twoyear- old son, Yosef Haim, were killed instantly following the blast, while neighbor Linda Schvartz died of her injuries days later.
The January explosion resulted in the arrest of a Supergas technician and investigation into the company’s standards and practices.