11 Chinese workers hurt in Netanya industrial area blast

Blast on first floor of structure partially collapses several apartments on floors above, where the men were living; restaurant on 1st floor also goes up in flames.

July 17, 2011 03:22
1 minute read.
Magen David Adom ambulances [file]

Magen David Adom ambulances 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

Eleven Chinese workers were injured in Netanya’s old industrial area on Friday night when an explosion believed to have been caused by a gas leak heavily damaged a building.

The blast on the first floor of the structure on Rehov Pinkas partially collapsed several apartments on the floors above, where the men were living.

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It also caused a restaurant on the first floor to go up in flames.

Magen David Adom teams evacuated the injured to hospitals, as firefighters battled to get the flames under control, and searched for trapped people. None were found.

One of the workers was moderately injured; the rest sustained light injuries from smoke inhalation, police said.

A leak in a nearby building had released gas or fuel fumes into the air, and a short circuit may have triggered the explosion, a joint Fire Rescue Service and Israel Police investigation found.

The Netanya Municipality warned on Saturday that the building was in danger of collapse, and the foreign workers found themselves without a home or their belongings.

The explosion was the second to go off in a Netanya building within a month.

On June 17, three young women – immigrants from France – and a young man were killed in a gas explosion, and more than 90 people were injured. Two men, a metal thief suspected of cutting a gas pipe, and technician suspected of failing to repair the damage, were arrested within hours of last month’s blast.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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