Raid on gas company, arrests after deadly Netanya explosion

Inspectors seize documents, computers as part of investigation into apartment complex blast that claimed four lives.

June 20, 2011 02:18
2 minute read.
Gas explosion in Netanya

Netanya Blast 465 2. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Inspectors from the National Infrastructures Ministry raided a gas company in Netanya and seized documents and computers as part of the investigation into the gas explosion that claimed four lives on Friday morning, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

A Netanya police spokesman said he could not comment on the report.

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Police are still seeking to identify the exact cause of the blast.

One man, a suspected metal thief, is under arrest for allegedly causing the gas leak, while a gas technician was arrested for allegedly failing to repair the leak on Thursday after being called to the four-story building on Kikar Ha’atzmaut.

Both men deny the suspicions against them.

They will be brought to the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court later this week or will be released by police, depending on the results of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced on Sunday that it would provide emergency financial assistance to the 24 new immigrants whose apartments and belongings were destroyed in the gas explosion, and help the families of the three young women from France who were killed in the blast.

Rivka Mashid, 17, Rivka Dorai, 18, and Stacy Barook, 17, had been distributing candles for Shabbat near the building when the blast took place.

They were killed along with a young man, Muhammad Abu Ata, from Kafr Kara. Around 70 others were injured in the blast, which destroyed the large apartment block.

A spokesman for the Immigrant Absorption Ministry said that emergency aid was approved for those who had been injured and lost their homes.

He said that while the majority of the immigrants were from France, there were also olim living in the building from the former Soviet Union and Australia.

On Sunday evening, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver visited the displaced immigrants.

Tamir Mintz, director of the Homes and Buildings Association, said that “in hundreds of buildings today, there may be gas cables missing, and tenants are unaware of the danger lurking on their doorsteps,” Army Radio reported.

Mintz said that this year, people stole from buildings metal cables worth tens of millions of shekels, and these incidents can be more costly in human lives.

Based on estimates from the association, periodic testing of emergency systems is not performed on two-thirds of the buildings in the country.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report

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