Tefillin Maker Dies of Toxic Fumes

A man was overwhelmed by toxic fumes on Monday morning and died while making tefillin in the city of Modiin Illit.

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Maayana Miskin, | updated: 16:17

Man wearing tefillin
Man wearing tefillin
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Reuven Nadel was killed Monday following a toxic fumes blast as he prepared tefillin (phylacteries). The incident took place in the hareidi-religious city of Modiin Illit.

Nadel, 37, is survived by a wife and eight children, the youngest of whom is just four months old.

Police said Nadel's death was caused by fumes from chemicals that he used to soften leather. He was working privately in the basement of a building to supplement the family income; during the day he studied Torah.

The deadly fumes were formed after two chemicals were mixed, resulting in a small explosion. Nadel was apparently knocked down by the blast, leaving his face above the chemical mix, where he inhaled a large quantity of fumes. 

Six paramedics who attempted to revive Nadel suffered light injuries from the fumes and were taken to Tel HaShomer hospital. 

Residents of the building were evacuated, and firefighters and environmental protection workers neutralized the remaining fumes.