Israel’s sinkhole forms in swimming pool, killing man and injuring another

Israel’s sinkhole forms in swimming pool, killing man and injuring another

A man is dead and another injured after a large sinkhole suddenly formed under an in-ground pool at a site in the village of Karmei Yosef in Israel, authorities confirmed Thursday.

The deceased man, whom police identified as 32-year-old Klil Kimhi, was reportedly attending a private, celebratory work event held by a company that rented space for its employees.

In his memory, friends are already posting on Kimhi’s Facebook wall after his death.

One thanked him for “everyone laughing” and another described him as “the best friend in the world”.

Israel Hayom, a Hebrew-language newspaper, acknowledged Kimhi’s passing on Facebook, writing: “Heartbroken: Kalil Kamchi victim of private pool laundry disaster in [Karmei] Joseph. May his memory be a blessing.”

A video of the tragic incident – seen by Fox News Digital – shows the sinkhole rapidly withdrawing water and the pool flooding in as swimmers tried to escape the sudden trap.

Kimhi’s body was found hours after emergency personnel completed the search, according to local reports in Israel.

The police have not yet revealed the cause of death.

In a statement translated from Hebrew to English and given to Fox News Digital, Israeli police said: “At the end of operational searches, the police, fire and rescue services and the IDF Homefront Command found the missing man, an approximately 30-year-old man. -old resident in Tel Aviv – unfortunately he was dead, the statement said.

Aviv Bublil, the lifeguard working at the pool party, told Israeli news website Ynet that around 2:00 p.m. Israeli time, a “vortex” appeared in the pool.

She told the outlet that she screamed for people to get out of the pool, but they stayed.

Bublil added that the swimmers may have thought it was a game (perhaps not realizing they were in danger).

“Seconds later the ground just fell, what looked like a giant sinkhole,” Bublil said. “I saw two people … two people were missing. One that we could not locate, and one that could be seen among the ruins from above. My first instinct was to try to get in… but there was no way to go in. So they called the emergency services.”

The victim was a man attending a festive work event held by a company that leased the pool area.
The victim was a man attending a festive work event held by a company that leased the pool area.
Israel Fire & Rescue/ Facebook

She continued: “It was a matter of seconds. It’s not something that looks normal, that’s why I realized that it’s kind of an unusual event that I don’t usually see in pools.”

Another adult man who escaped from the sinkhole was treated by staff at Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

“A 34-year-old man who pulled himself out of the pit was sitting outside the pool upset,” MDA paramedic Uri Damari told the outlet.

– He suffered minor injuries to his head and limbs, and after medical treatment we evacuated him to hospital.

Fox News Digital contacted MDA for comment.

A sinkhole is a hole or “depression” in the ground that “has no natural external surface drainage,” according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

“Basically, this means that when it rains, all the water stays inside the sinkhole and usually flows underground,” the agency states on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s website.

Sinkholes are most common in regions (called karst terrain) where certain types of underground rock can be naturally dissolved by groundwater circulating through the surface, the USGS reports.

As water from precipitation seeps into the soil, soluble rocks (salt beds and domes, gypsum, limestone, and other carbonate rocks) begin to dissolve, “creating underground spaces and caves,” according to the USGS.

“Sinkholes are dramatic because the land usually remains intact for a period of time until the underground spaces just get too big.”

“If there is not enough support for the land above the gaps, a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur,” the USGS said.

Last year, Ittai Gavrieli of the Israel Geological Institute told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that there are thousands of sinkholes around the coast of the Dead Sea, in Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, The Times of Israel reported.

The USGS states that no data is available on sinkhole collapses in America, although some states will track collapses individually through geological surveys.

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