A sinkhole opens up under a swimming pool in Israel, video shows, killing Tel Aviv’s Klil Kimhi

A sinkhole opens up under a swimming pool in Israel, video shows, killing Tel Aviv's Klil Kimhi
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A man in central Israel died Thursday after a sinkhole opened under a swimming pool during a house party for co-workers and sucked him into a 43-foot-deep hole.

Rescuers responded to a village in the town of Karmei Yosef, about 25 miles from Tel Aviv, which was hosting a company event. Video of the incident shows a sinkhole that opened Thursday afternoon, causing the pool to buckle and collapse inward while guests were in and around the pool. All the water, inflatable rafts and toys were sucked into the big hole in a matter of seconds.

Two men were shown being dragged into the sinkhole as partygoers looked on in horror and shock as dance music played poolside. While one of the men managed to get out after falling, the other is seen in a video submerged underwater and trying to escape from the vortex. He then disappeared into the sinkhole.

After a four-hour search, rescuers were able to find the man at the bottom of the sinkhole. The man, who was pronounced dead, was identified as Klil Kimhi, 32, of Tel Aviv, according to the israeli times. Authorities have not released Kimhi’s cause of death.

The couple who own the property were arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide. Police say the couple, identified by Israeli media as Natan and Rachel Meller, did not apply for a permit before building the pool. At a hearing Friday, Sgt. Rami Desta accused the couple of playing “a great contribution to this tragic outcome”.

“They could have prevented this outcome if they had obtained a permit,” Desta said, according to the Israeli news site. ynet.

The Mellers were released Friday morning under house arrest at their daughter’s home in Petah Tikva.

Zion Amir, the couple’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. He defended his clients as “good people” during Friday’s hearing, saying they couldn’t have anticipated a sinkhole would open up under his pool.

“This is a very unusual event,” he said, according to Ynet.

Sinkholes are areas of land that lack natural external surface drainage, according to the United States Geological Survey. Gaps and caverns can develop underground as rocks below the earth’s surface, such as limestone, carbonate rock, or salt beds, dissolve. One of the reasons sinkholes can be so dramatic is because a sudden collapse of the Earth’s surface can happen at any time, according to the USGS.

In the United States, most damage from sinkholes tends to occur in states like Florida, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, the USGS says. Just this week, video captured a New York City van falling into a sinkhole in the Bronx.

Sinkholes are also a problem in Israel. Ittai Gavrieli, a senior researcher at the Israel Geological Survey, said Agence France-Presse Last year there were thousands of sinkholes in and around Israel, including around the shores of the Dead Sea.

Approximately 50 people attended the house party on Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. A guest told the Keshet 12 television station that everything happened very quickly and it was not immediately clear what was unfolding before them.

“The water level suddenly started to recede and a hole opened up, creating a vortex that pulled two people inside,” he said.

Aviv Bublil, the lifeguard who worked at the pool party, told Ynet how “the ground fell off.”

“I saw two people … two people were missing,” Bublil said.

The 34-year-old man who climbed out of the sinkhole suffered minor injuries to his head and legs, Uri Damari, a Magen David Adom paramedic, told The Associated Press. Jerusalem Post.

Photos shared by authorities show how the giant sinkhole went through the middle of the pool.

On social media, friends flood Kimhi’s Facebook page with memories.

“May his memory be a blessing,” the Israel Hayom newspaper wrote on its Facebook account.

On Friday, Amir, the lawyer for the pool owners, stressed at the hearing that the fatal sinkhole incident was “a terrible tragedy” that was “no less unusual than a lightning strike.”

“Such a thing happens once every hundred years,” Amir said, according to Ynet. “And unfortunately it happened.”

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