Israeli media name gas blast victims
Three young French-Israelis and an Arab-Israeli were killed in an accidental explosion that destroyed a building in the coastal town of Netanya, Israeli media reported on Saturday.
They named the victims of the blast in the town north of Tel Aviv as Rebecca Msihid, 17, Rebecca Dorai, 18, and Stacy Barouk, 17 who were in the building and Mohammed Abu Attar, 28, who was outside the building when it blew up.
The blast late on Thursday also injured close to 70 people, and was heard three kilometres (over a mile) away. Police said it was caused by a gas canister and was unrelated to criminal or nationalist issues.
The explosion flattened the four-storey building in the town centre which had a restaurant on the ground floor.
Netanya is home to a large French-speaking community and draws a sizeable number of Jewish tourists from France every year. It is also known as a town where figures from the criminal underworld have been known to settle scores.
Investigators are holding two suspects, a scrap metal dealer and an employee of the gas company which supplied the canisters.
© 2011 AFP