Disasters · Israel

Wedding hall collapses, killing 23 and injuring 380

May 24, 2001
Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel
During a wedding reception, the third story of the Versailles wedding hall collapses, killing 23 and injuring 380

The collapse was due to structural failure of the building. Part of the building had originally been intended to be a two-story structure while another part was designed to be three-stories. It was later decided the two parts should be equal heights. The construction crew added partitions to the floor below to help sustain the additional load, though the hall owners had these partitions removed weeks before the disaster. They noted a significant sagging in the third story floor but believed it to be a superficial issue. The floor was then leveled with grout and filler.

While revelers were dancing, the dance floor gave out dropping dozens two stories. The disaster was captured by a camcorder and can be seen on YouTube.

The wedding hall owners were charged with causing death by negligence as well as damage by negligence. Two were sentenced to 30 months in prison while the third was given a 4-month community service term. Those responsible for the building’s construction were also found guilty and convicted of death by negligence and sabotage by negligence. Depending on the degree in which they were involved in the construction, they were sentenced to between 6 months and 4 years in prison. The remnants of the building have been demolished and a memorial to the victims has been placed near the site of the disaster.

The victims I could find were:

  • Mordechai Butil, 25
  • Ge’ula Cohen, 41
  • Hani Cohen, 14
  • Sason Cohen, 60
  • Shonit Cohen, 20
  • Victoria Cohen, 24
  • Itay Ya’acov Dayan, 3
  • Tif’eret Heimenratt, 20
  • Ayelet Hernik(Hertov), 38
  • Yaffa Levi, 48
  • Hannah Menashe, age not specified
  • Rafa’el Menashe, age not specified
  • Orit Moreno, 58
  • Jacklin Sha’aya, 73
  • Yosef Shriki, 80
  • Eli’or Sror, 12
  • Miriam Sror, 52
  • Moshe Sror, 27
  • Hannit Tubul, 15

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s