Death Toll Climbs to 5 in Gas Explosion [UPDATED 10:12 IL]

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The death toll in the Akko gas explosion that occurred during the night has risen to two. As IDF Homefront Command and other search & rescue experts operate on the scene, authorities report the destruction in the blast is extensive and there are still four or five people missing. Eleven people were injured in the blast and transported to area hospitals. This fatal blast occurred less than a month after the fatal blast in the Gilo neighborhood of Yerushalayim that claimed four lives. 

Police add the preliminary investigation has already revealed that there was a heated dispute among tenants of the building surrounding the placement of cellular telephone antennas on the building rooftop and while no more is being released by police, they are hinting this may have been a factor in the blast that occurred at 01:42 Monday morning, 17 Adar I 5774.

MDA Chief of Operations Eli Bin reports that 40 ambulances were dispatched to the scene while ten MDA personnel were assigned to area hospitals to assist in the emergency rooms.

Akko Mayor Shimon Lankry told Walla News “City social workers officials are working to assist the families that are now homeless. We are checking to determine the cause of the blast”.

Naftali Rothenberg, Carmel District Commander of Ichud Hatzalah, adds volunteers were dispatched immediately as a multi casualty incident was declared when the initial reports of the explosion came in.

08:39 IL:

Rescue workers discover two more bodies bringing the death toll to four.

09:03 IL:

Three children and a fireman are among the injured in area hospitals. Another portion of a building collapsed a short time ago. Rescue workers report the blast area poses an immediate threat to those operating on the scene.

10:12 IL:

Israel Fire Service Northern District Spokesman Natan Ben-Shimon reports the lifeless body of an eight-year-old boy was found in the ruins of the Akko blast and they are now working to extricate the body from the scene. The child’s parents, in their 40s, were killed in the blast. The death toll in the explosion has now risen to 5. An 11-year-old sister of the boy was rescued from the blast with light injuries, apparently the only survivor of that family.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo: IDF Spokesman)