TRAGEDY IN YERUSHALAYIM: Open Manhole Leads to Death of Chareidi Toddler – UPDATED/PHOTOS


13.jpg[PHOTOS UPDATE & BELOW] A 3-year-old chareidi girl is dead and a well-intended rescuer is in serious condition as a result of an open manhole in a park in Jerusalem’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.

The toddler, accompanied by a babysitter, was playing in the park on Nachal Tzion Street, unaware of open pit, which appears to have been about 5 meters (yards) deep, containing toxic gas fumes. The girl fell in at about 4:40pm and a chareidi male nearby heard the screams for assistance, entering the manhole without hesitation in his effort to save the young life. Rescuers pulled the two out.

According to preliminary reports from a number of eyewitnesses, an MDA physician called the code, ending resuscitation efforts on the girl after about 15 minutes. The rescuer’s spontaneous pulse returned after a few minutes of CPR. He arrived in the trauma unit of Hadassah Hospital in critical condition but appears to be showing slight signs of improvement.

Neighbors report numerous complaints were filed with Jerusalem officials regarding the looming danger, the open manhole, which went ignored. An initial response obtained from Jerusalem officials indicates they did not receive any complaints, explaining why the matter was left unattended.

It appears the family of the dead girl move to their new apartment about two weeks ago, living in the area but in a different home earlier. The levaya of 3-year-old Rachel Sofer A”H is scheduled for 9:30pm.

UPDATE: According to chareidi Jerusalem City Councilman Yossi Deutch, who is responsible for the city beautification portfolio, a check of city records back to 2007 reveals there are no complaints on file for an open manhole at the location of Wednesday afternoon’s tragic incident which claimed the life of three-year-old Rachel Sefer. Deutch added they also checked areas, streets near the site of today’s incident, Igloo Park. He stressed there simply is no such file.

Deutch reports one woman insists she called the city ‘moked’ 106 operator, prompting him to ask her for details to permit him to check. She refused. Councilman Deutch made an appeal on Kol Chai Radio that anyone who telephoned and filed an incident complaint with the city is urged to step forward with details.

He added that when he arrived at the scene of the fatal accident, he saw the lid of the manhole was a few feet away, signaling that it was likely not open for too long. He also questions why a responsible person did not simply move it to cover the manhole. He believes there should be some type of lock to prevent movement, but he does not believe children did it since a manhole cover is too heavy.

Deutch rejects the city’s response of “vandalism” stating it simply does not make sense. Vandals do not open manholes he explained, demanding a comprehensive inspection by City Hall.

“It is easy to point a finger and claim ‘I warned and I phoned’ but we must act responsibility and conduct a proper investigation” concluded Deutsch.

Rachel Sofer A”H is being buried at this time in Yerushalayim. The levaya began at 9:30pm in the Shamgar Funeral Home.

YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for photos.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Hashem Yeracheim………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  2. Hashem Yirachaim!!!
    This evening looks like Tisha B’av here in Ramat Eshkol…. we all know the family… its too terrible to even comprehend… such a wonderful family and such a sweet girl!!!
    I know there is no possible nechama in the natural world… Hashem should send a nais and be menachaim this incredible family…
    Hashem should send a refuah shelaima to her attempted rescuer and should fill his life with bracha for the sacrifice he was willing to make!!!

  3. Does anybody know which Sofer family this is? What are the names of the parents of the nifteres? I have relatives named Sofer and am trying to find out which family this is?

  4. Our hearts are broken for Batsheva and Binyomin. May Hakodosh Boruch Hu give them and their families the strength to find nechama.

  5. In Israel,if you’re serious about making a complaint to a public authority, you MUST send it also by REGISTERED mail,not just by phone or fax.
    That way,they cannot make the typical Israeli response of denying ever have received a complaint!Millions of $$$ in damages could be involved,just by you turning up at the Court room with the Israel postal docket confirming that you sent them a letter!Unfortunately most Israelis and most Anglos,especially frum ones,would literally rather DIE than pay the 8 shekel registered postal fee!

  6. They should complain but it is too late now but for the future they should be careful especially since it is in a park (which I don’t get how it ended up there in a not safe place) so that next time it won’t happen. May Hashem comfort the family in this tragic time especially on the 9 days. This is a sign from Hashem who is telling us that we must be sad on the 9 days. Nowadays we don’t feel the 9 days. We eat no meat, we hear no music but what other “fun” stuff are we doing?

  7. #8-shmoigeyoina- I normally do not provide comments because I get lambasted by other commentators. But I must take myself out of my self- proclaimed retirement- to call you a vile person.- this is a tragedy beyond anything, anyone can ever know. Keep your stupid comments to yourself. We, who know the neighborhood and the people involved, as well as the entire klal Yisroel are sick over this, and you have to politicize it- shame on you.

  8. Please daven for the young man who jumped in to rescue the girl and is now in critical condition. His name is Menashe ben Shulamis.

  9. As a talmid of R’ Sofer’s I can fondly remember the multiple shabbosim I spent in his house playing with his children.

    Hopefully they find a small measure of nechama.

  10. Anyone know if Binyomin attended Camp Agudah (Ferndale, NY) in the early 1990’s? I was friends with a Binyomin Sofer from Far Rockaway then…

  11. The whole Sofer family are Tzadikim. They are well known for their chesed and torah. My heart cries out in pain for this wonderfull family.

  12. The “other” grandparents are Louie and Leeba Friedman from Lakewood. Louie used to own Gelbsteins Bakery, he has a heart bigger than gold, and Leeba runs the Bikur Cholim in Lakewood….HaMakom Yinachem Kol HaMishpacha…

  13. “Yossi Deutch…also questions why a responsible person did not simply move it to cover the manhole.”



  14. Number 22 I don’t think anyone was working there. It seems like it was closed and someone opened it and put garbage down there. Number 23 It could very well be that Sofer in Far Rockaway but not sure.