Building collapses in Tel Aviv, 3 people trapped inside

- (AP) -- A building collapsed in a Tel Aviv construction zone on Monday, injuring at least 18 people and trapping three people inside, according to police and media reports.

The collapse sent a large plume of dust floating over the area. Officials were trying to determine the cause of the collapse as rescue crews and medical workers converged on the scene. The Israeli military dispatched search-and-rescue units to assist in the efforts.

Lior Teherani, a fire official, told Channel 10 TV that the incident began with the collapse of a multi-level underground parking garage being built at the site. He said that brought down a crane, which then caused part of a building to collapse as well. Aerial images released by police and shown on Israeli TV showed a large, crater-like hole in the ground.

Mada, the national rescue service, reported 18 people injured, one in serious condition with head injuries.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said contact had been made with two people trapped inside. She said a third person remained trapped and had not yet been contacted.

The incident occurred at a construction site in Ramat Hahayal, a commercial area in northern Tel Aviv. The neighborhood is home to many high-tech businesses, restaurants and a hospital.

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