A disaster was avoided Monday morning in neighborhood near downtown Jerusalem as dozens of people fled before a wall of a building undergoing renovations collapsed, injuring one person.
The wall at the site in the hareidi religious neighborhood of Geula, next to Mea Shearim, began shaking before collapsing slowly, allowing bystanders to flee to safety.
After the crash, thousands of curiosity-seekers struggled for a view of the rubble, blocking efforts by rescue crews to search for people who were feared to have been buried under the debris. A search revealed that everyone had managed to escape.
Police are investigating the foreman at the site.
Hezi Roth of the United Hatzalah rescue group told Arutz Sheva, “I arrived at my place of work near the site, and people told me that a wall collapsed slowly and dumped building debris on the sidewalk and street. It was not clear at first if there were people who were trapped. We gave first aid care to one person who suffered light to moderate injuries before we evacuated him to a hospital."
Authorities decided to demolish the entire building.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene and said, “This is the reality of Jerusalem. There are buildings here that are more than 100 years old, and the city needs to find out how to treat the situation.
Fire department official Shmuelik Friedman told Arutz Sheva that the use of an air hammer during renovations caused the wall to collapse.