40 days after disaster, synagogue bleacher collapse claims third fatality

A man died Thursday of injuries he sustained last month when a bleacher collapsed under celebrants in a synagogue in Givat Ze’ev, near Jerusalem, raising the death toll from the disaster to three.

Rabbi Eliyahu Karpel, 39, from Betar Illit, had been hospitalized in the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem for the past 40 days.

Karpel was born in Lviv, Ukraine, and came to Israel as a youth after joining Karlin-Stolin Hasidic sect, according to the B’Hadrei Haredim website.

He was seriously injured, though he recovered enough to recount to others what happened to him, according to the report.

Then on Tuesday, his condition deteriorated following an infection that spread throughout his body.

Karpel, who left no family, worked in real estate, the report said.

Yechiel Michal Gloyubaum, 13, from Givat Ze’ev, and Mordechai Binyamin Rubenstein, 40, from Jerusalem, also died when the bleacher collapsed on May 16, just before the start of the Shavuot festival. At least 167 other people were injured in the incident.

A video from the disaster showed the ultra-Orthodox Karlin synagogue in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, packed with male worshipers when the bleacher suddenly collapsed.

Some large ultra-Orthodox events feature bleachers, known as “tribunas” in Israel, which are packed with standing or dancing parishioners surrounding a central table where community leaders are seated.

The synagogue is located in an incomplete building and had not been approved for use, the police commander of the Jerusalem District told reporters at the time.

Documents published by the Kan public broadcaster last month showed the police and the Givat Ze’ev municipality trying to enforce an order banning Shavuot services at the unfinished Karlin synagogue.

In the documents, police warned the local council about the danger of allowing services at the building, which did not have an occupancy permit. However, when the local council asked police to step in to enforce the closure, police responded that it was the council’s job.

The incident came 16 days after the worst civilian disaster in Israel’s history, in which 45 people were crushed to death during a mass gathering of mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday approved a proposal by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman to establish a governmental commission of inquiry into the Meron tragedy.

Source Link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/40-days-after-disaster-synagogue-bleacher-collapse-claims-third-fatality/

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