The residents of two buildings on Rechov Bar Ilan in the Shichun Hei neighborhood of Bnei Brak were evacuated overnight Thursday (Motzei Yom Kippur) due to fear of the buildings’ possible collapse.
The incident began close to midnight on Motzei Yom Kippur when someone visiting Bnei Brak called Fire and Rescue Services about a building in the city that appeared at risk of collapse. Police and rescue service forces arrived at the scene and called a municipal engineer to inspect the building. After the engineer determined that the building is indeed at risk of collapse, the Fire and Rescue Services Commander ordered the immediate evacuation of the residents.
The engineer also examined the adjacent buildings and determined that another building was also at risk of collapse. The residents of the second building were also ordered to immediately evacuate their apartments.
In total, nine families who lived in both two-story apartment buildings were evacuated.
The Bnei Brak municipal engineer determined that it was safe for the residents to remove their possessions from their apartments, including furniture and electrical appliances, for an hour’s time. Shomrim volunteers and the staff of the office of Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein assisted the residents in evacuating their possessions and arranged housing for them in the Vitznitz Hotel, where they will spend Shabbos and Sukkos.
Immediately after the evacuation process was completed, electrical and water services were disconnected from the buildings, and the entire area was closed off.
Some of the residents of the buildings complained that the immediate evacuation was unnecessary. “I can’t understand why we had to be evacuated like thieves in the night,” one resident told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “There hasn’t been any change in the structure of the building over the last few years. It could have waited for the morning. I don’t think that the building would have davka collapsed tonight.”
Another resident said: “Even if there truly is a risk, they could have waited until the morning and evacuated us like human beings. Nothing justifies such a quick evacuation in the middle of the night, especially when it comes to old cracks that didn’t form today or yesterday.”
As YWN reported, a building in Holon collapsed earlier this week a day after 36 families were evacuated due to the formation of cracks in the building.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)