2 brothers killed in Antalya 'foam party' tragedy laid to rest

14-year-old and 18-year-old tourists, as well as local hotel employee, die when foam machine short circuits, causing fatal electric shock.

Anatolia 224 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Anatolia 224 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The bodies of Nir and Shai Hakim, two brothers from Holon who were electrocuted along with a 20-year-old hotel employee by a foam machine in Antalya, Turkey late Tuesday night, were brought to Israel by Magen David Adom on Thursday afternoon and laid to rest. Father Nissan wailed as the bodies were lowered into the graves at Yarkon Cemetery. "How could you go, and leave us alone," he said of son Shai, 18. Israeli Consul Samuel Shalem, who accompanied the grieving family in Turkey, told The Jerusalem Post that guests at the Venice Palace Hotel had been horrified by the tragedy. "These are the worst deaths of all the cases I have seen here so far," Shalem, who completes his term in Turkey in less than a week, told the Post in a telephone interview. "It's inconceivable. It's hard to see a family that went on an innocent vacation and returns with two dead children. The family is completely devastated," Shalem said. Shai and Nir Hakim, 14, died at a "foam party" around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. Their parents were not informed until the next morning. "They went to look for their children and saw that they had not slept in their room. Only then did they hear from guests in the hotel what happened the night before on the dancing floor near the pool," Shalem said. The family did not have travel insurance and could not pay for the bodies' transport. MDA director-general Eli Bin immediately gave instructions to help the parents and cover the expenses of the flight. Two ambulances were waiting at Ben-Gurion Airport and drove the bodies to the L. Greenberg Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, said Assi Dvilansky, projects manager for MDA. They underwent an autopsy at the request of Turkish authorities, Shalem said. "We didn't get the autopsy report but we were told that the two brothers died of electrocution following an electrical short circuit in the foam cannon, next to which they were standing," Shalem said. According to the initial Turkish police investigation, prior to the accident the foam cannon fell to the ground twice and its operators kept putting it back on a table. After it fell a third time, the workers decided to leave it on the wet floor. When the short circuit occurred, the brothers and the hotel employee were fatally electrocuted. Two other people were severely injured and taken to the hospital. Eyewitnesses told the police that at least 10 minutes went by before anyone realized something was wrong, and 20 more minutes before the ambulances arrived. The Turkish police opened a criminal investigation and arrested the owners of the company that operates the foam cannons. Older daughter Noah, 23, was traveling in Colombia and was informed of her brothers' deaths by the Israeli delegation in Bogota. She left for Israel on Thursday morning. Nir also had a twin brother, Guy, and a second sister, Shirly. Judy Siegel contributed to this report.