Police are investigating the circumstances behind a serious construction mishap on Thursday morning in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Neveh Ya’acov, resulting in two workers sustaining significant injuries after being buried in a ditch beneath a large pipe.

While details of the accident remain unclear, at approximately 10:30 a.m. the two victims were operating heavy machinery to construct a mall when they were hurled into the ditch, according to police.

Both men were then immediately engulfed by a wall of dirt that collapsed around them and left them pinned under a large pipe, police said. As coworkers and passersby watched in horror, police, Fire and Rescue Services and paramedics were called to the site to extricate them.

“The situation was very precarious, so teams immediately began rescue operations to ensure more dirt did not further bury the men or land on rescue workers,” a Fire and Rescue Services official said Thursday. “We arrived with a large team of rescue forces and needed to work very quickly because they were buried under a pipe and piles of dirt, with more earth that could have collapsed on them at any moment.”

Following a brief and intensive rescue operation, firefighters were able to extricate both men from the beneath the pipe and rush them to an area hospital, where they have been listed in moderate condition.

Police have since initiated an investigation into the incident to determine whether foul play was involved, a spokesman said.

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