Mexico City – Volunteers from Israel’s ZAKA search and rescue organization pulled the body of a local rabbi from an office building that collapsed in a massive earthquake that hit Mexico.
76 year old, Mr. Haim Ashkenazi had been working in the office building when the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, rocking Mexico City and causing hundreds of buildings to collapse.
According to the Mexican news site La Silla Rota, Ashkenazi owned a textile factory, located in the area of Colonia Obrera in Mexico City .
The building had four floors, each occupied by a company. One of them was Young Fashion Line , the signature that belonged to Achequenze Azkenazy, according to the informed by the Silla Rota. Employees of the factory would have survived by getting away from the building on time.
Ashkenazi, also known as ‘El Ché’ , was a member of Kehillat Magen David synagogue where he was in charge of preparing the donation box,” AJN news agency reported.
A 71-member delegation of Israeli soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command arrived in Mexico on Thursday, including a search and rescue team and engineers who will help assess the structural integrity of buildings affected by the earthquake. The IDF chief rabbi gave the group permission to travel on Rosh Hashanah.
The delegation is currently scheduled to return to Israel on September 29, erev Yom Kippur.
As of Sunday morning, the Home Front Command delegation had surveyed 59 buildings, according to the army. On Friday, the residents of a Mexican town took to the streets to applaud the rescue tea. The moment was caught on video and aired on Israel’s Channel 2.
Two Israeli aid organizations — IsraAID and iAid — also sent delegations to Mexico to assist in search and rescue. iAid, which is funded by Cycura Inc. and The Ted Arison Family Foundation sent a 15-member search and rescue team, which has helped to locate the bodies of several people in a school and a residential building.
Meanwhile, 25 former IDF soldiers who are volunteering at a school in Mexico City teaching English, math and other subjects, evacuated 460 students at the school in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake and are credited with saving their lives, Ynet reported. The ex-soldiers are volunteering through the Heros for Life NGO.