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      Four Killed in Netanya Gas Explosion

      Four people killed and dozens wounded after a large gas explosion ripped through a four-story building in Netanya.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 6/17/2011, 1:08 AM / Last Update: 6/17/2011, 1:05 AM

      Four people were killed and 88 others were wounded late Thursday night after a loud explosion ripped through a four-storey building in the heart of the city of Netanya.

      The building which was hit houses restaurants on the lower floor and apartments on the upper floors. Magen David Adom teams who were called to the scene began evacuating individuals who were trapped in the building, which partially collapsed as a result of the explosion.

      Voice of Israel Radio reported Friday morning that all of the 88 casualties were lightly wounded. 27 of them were taken to Laniado Hospital in Netanya, 19 were taken to Hillel Yafe Hospital in Hadera, and two were taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba.

      Police said that the explosion was not caused by a terrorist attack but rather by a gas balloon which malfunctioned and exploded. Eyewitnesses reported of a sharp smell of gas in the area.

      Voice of Israel radio later reported that the police had arrested an individual who was seen on Thursday afternoon as he was attempting to cut gas pipes in the building. The suspect is being questioned by police on suspicion that his actions may have caused the explosion.