Two people have drowned after becoming trapped in a lift during flooding in central Tel Aviv.
The pair were unable to get out when the elevator locked automatically in the flooded parking lot of a residential building, Haaretz reports.
The Israeli newspaper added the lift appears to have broken down because of an electrical shortage.
Rescue crews had to use scuba gear to reach the pair, who died shortly after arriving at hospital.
Magen David Adom, an emergency agency which provides relief in natural disasters, said man and a woman in their 30s died.
Ronen Machtayeb, commander of the Dan district fire and rescue services, told Haaretz the man and woman appear to be a couple.
Image: A diver descends into the water in an effort to reach the pair
He also said the pair had used the elevator to try and get to their car.
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Mr Machtayeb said: “The parking garage was flooded and under severe conditions and with zero visibility.
“Divers reached the elevator shaft and opened the door.”
Residents of the building on Nadav Street in south Tel Aviv reportedly told police they saw a lot of water leaking from the garage but no one came to the scene.
A neighbour is said to have heard someone knocking on the elevator calling for help.
Police have said they received one call from the area about flooding but not that anyone was trapped, Haaretz reports.
Image: Divers are seen living the flooded car park during the rescue attempt
The paper adds that the force said officers arrived quickly and firefighters were dealing with the situation.
Yossi Deklo, from the Israeli Fire and Rescue Services, said during the flooding: “We are witnessing difficult rescue situations in different areas – in parking lots, in shafts, and other places. In this instance, we are talking about a complicated incident where people are trapped in an elevator in a parking lot.”
The downpour intensified on Saturday afternoon and caused flooding in areas across the coastal city of Tel Aviv, forcing road closures and stoking fears of additional deaths.
Rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue on Sunday.
Source : Sky News