One person was moderately to seriously injured and two others were lightly injured after an explosion was reported at the site of a former Israel Military Industries factory near Herzliya and Ramat Hasharon on Monday night, according to Israel Fire and Rescue Services.
This is the fourth time in the past two months that an explosion or fire has been reported in the area.
Video from the dashcam of a vehicle driving in the area showed a large explosion lighting up the night sky.
According to Fire and Rescue Services, firefighters who arrived at the scene found a number of fires outside of the area where buildings are located and gained control of the fires.
No dangerous or explosive materials were found by Fire and Rescue Service investigators at the site. The background of the explosion will be investigated.
Ramat Hasharon Mayor Avi Gruber stated that the explosion was caused by a work accident at an Elbit factory east of Highway 4.
"The IMI areas are a ticking time bomb. There must be no construction in them and the creation of explosive and dangerous materials must be moved from the center of the country to isolated areas," added Gruber. "For several years now I have been leading legal proceedings against construction in IMI areas, and we will win this fight."
"Construction on the most dangerous and polluted area in Israel is inconceivable. Unfortunately, not only does the state not act accordingly, but it only increases the pace of planning and striving for massive construction on the most polluted area."
Gruber added that he has instructed the municipality to set up a meeting with the Environmental Protection Ministry on the matter and such a meeting is set to take place this week.
The IMI factory which used to exist in the area used to produce explosives, ammunition, and gunpowder and was closed in the 1990s, a few years after two workers were killed in an explosion at the site.
Third incident at abandoned weapons factory in past two months
The explosion on Monday night comes a little over two weeks after a fire erupted at the site where the IMI factory used to sit. In that incident, there were conflicting reports about whether or not an explosion was heard.
Just a month before that incident, an explosion shook the area, leaving a seven meter wide crater at the site. It is still unclear what caused that explosion, although it's believed that the crater is located where an underground bunker containing tons of explosives was located, according to Calcalist.
The area where the explosion took place is more or less open to the public, according to Israel Hayom. Local residents complain that the state has neglected the area and has not conducted sufficient safety measures and checks on the area contaminated with explosive materials.
In July, Herzliya Mayor Moshe Padlon held a press conference, warning that the area is a ticking time bomb.
"We have appealed dozens of times to all the relevant parties in the country to deal with the issue, and until the previous explosion, which happened last month - we did not receive any answers from any party. What else needs to happen for the country to wake up? About two years ago, the court accepted the petition we submitted according to which construction in the area should be prohibited. Today we can say with certainty that thanks to our struggle and thanks to the court's decision, we prevented a major disaster," the municipality said.
The municipality called on the public to avoid the area.