Hundreds of locals were evacuated or asked to remain indoors Thursday evening following a massive leak of hazardous materials from a factory in Emek Hefer in central Israel.
One firefighter was killed, a 58-year-old man sustained moderate injuries, and 19 others were lightly hurt. Among those evacuated to nearby hospitals were seven firefighters. More than 15 emergency services teams were deployed to the scene from across the country.
Samir Assli, a 34-year-old resident of Kafr Qara, was named as the firefighter killed in the industrial accident. He was a ten-year veteran of the fire department in Hadera.
Police cruisers blocked certain sections of the northbound Route 4 and southbound Route 9.
During routine work at the Hod Hefer factory, an employee hit a pipe leading to storage of ammonia. Emergency crews believe some eights tons of ammonia leaked due to the incident.
Meanwhile, several contingents of Magen David Adom emergency care teams were deployed to the area. Due to the potential health hazard, people have been ordered to stay up to 2.5 kilometers away from the leak site.
Firefighting crews noted that because the industrial park has only one entrance and the factory is relatively close to the entry from Route 4, it was decided to not endanger the lives of those within the park by evacuating them.