Watch: Israeli team recovers bodies after Brazilian dam collapse

Israeli search and rescue team dispatched to Brazil following dam collapse operating in flood zone, accessible only by helicopter.

Tags: Brazil Dam ZAKA
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

ZAKA emergency team in Brazil
ZAKA emergency team in Brazil
ZAKA spokesperson

Within hours of arriving at the site of the dam collapse disaster in Brazil, an Israeli aid team located and recovered several bodies from the thick sludge.

Access to the area is only possible by helicopters that were made available to the Israeli delegation by the Brazilian army. First, contained areas were scanned by specially-trained search dogs in the IDF Oketz Canine Unit and, with those findings, the rescue and recovery delegations entered the area to retrieve the bodies entombed in the thick mud.

The Israeli delegation includes, among others, soldiers from the IDF Home Front Command, fire fighters, Navy divers and volunteers from the ZAKA International Rescue Unit who are working together round the clock at the site of the disaster in their humanitarian rescue and recovery mission.

“The scope of the disaster is huge,” said ZAKA head of special operations Haim Weingarten.

“The experience that we have accumulated in ZAKA over the years at many disasters around the world helps us greatly in the field. Already on the first day of operations, we were able to identify several areas with high potential for the remains of those who would not have survived the mud slide. There is much work for us to do here in the deep mud. The professional cooperation between all the different members of the Israeli delegation contributes significantly to the success of those working in the field.”

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav emphasized the difficulty of operating in the flood zone.

“We are receiving excellent feedback from the emergency services in Brazil about the professionalism of the delegation at the disaster site. The rescuers are working in very difficult terrain. The Israeli delegation is well received in the local media and shows the beautiful face of Israel.”