Last month, seven people were instantly killed and many more were trapped in rubble after a four-story shopping mall collapsed near Accra, Ghana. People who managed to escape the collapsed building suffered injuries of various seriousness and were being treated in nearby hospitals.

Ghanaian President John Mahama believes that negligence was the reason why the shopping mall collapsed. He asserted, “Whoever was responsible for this negligence here will pay a price.” He confessed that in Ghana, there is a gap between building codes and the enforcement of those statutes. This particular shopping mall evidently did not receive approval from the government to be built.

President Mahama continued, “We have received a few messages from a few governments, and we have also received offers of assistance from one or two friendly government(s) that have specialized crew that are able to deal with this, some dealt with some earthquake situations, and so I have accepted that offer of assistance.”

Israel was one of the countries to offer Ghana her assistance. Ghana’s President ordered an inquiry into how the shopping mall collapsed. An Israeli assessment team of 18 experts arrived in Ghana to aid with the investigation. Furthermore, according to the Forward, a further 150 Israeli rescue workers came “ready to deploy with field hospitals and concrete cutters if required.” The Israeli team consisted of medical personnel, engineers and communications experts who all sought to aid the local authorities in Ghana with this crisis.

The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, who finalized the arrangements for Israel to aid this situation, opened an emergency center to coordinate the rescue efforts. Israel, compared to other countries, is known as a state that has extensive experience in responding to disasters similar to the collapsed shopping mall in Ghana. For the past thirty years, Israeli rescue teams have saved lives in countries as varied as Turkey, Greece, Chile, Kenya, India, Thailand, Haiti, and Japan. Whenever there are disasters, Israel prides herself as being a country that is always among the first on the scene to help out.

Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel

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