One man has died and another is injured after a large sinkhole suddenly formed under an in-ground swimming pool at a location in the village of Karmei Yosef, Israel, authorities confirmed Thursday.
The deceased man, whom police identified as 32-year-old Klil Kimhi, reportedly attended a private, celebratory work event hosted by a company that rented space for its employees.
In his memory, friends are already posting on Kimhi’s Facebook wall after his death.
One thanked him for “all the laughs” and another described him as “the best friend in the world”.
Israel Hayom, a Hebrew-language newspaper, acknowledged Kimhi’s passing on Facebook, writing, “Heartbroken: Kalil Kamchi is a victim of the private pool sink disaster in [Karmei] Joseph. May his memory be a blessing.”
Video of the tragic incident – which Fox News Digital has viewed – shows the sinkhole rapidly shooting water and pool floats inside as swimmers tried to escape the sudden trap.
Kimhi’s body was found hours after emergency personnel completed the search, according to local reports in Israel.
Police have not yet released the cause of death.
In a statement translated from Hebrew to English and provided to Fox News Digital, Israel Police said: “Upon the completion of operational searches, police, fire and rescue services and the Home Front Command from the IDF located the missing man, approximately 30 years old. -former Tel Aviv resident – unfortunately, he had passed away,” the statement read.
Aviv Bublil, the lifeguard who worked at the pool party, told the Israeli news site, Ynet, that around 2 p.m. Israel time, a “vortex” appeared in the pool.
She told the outlet she yelled for people to get out of the pool, but they stayed.
Bublil added that the swimmers may have thought it was a game (perhaps without realizing they were in danger).
“Seconds later, the ground collapsed, something that looked like a giant chasm,” Bublil said. “I saw two people… two people were missing. One we couldn’t locate, and one could be seen among the rubble from above. My first instinct was to try to get inside…but there was no way to get in. So they called the emergency services.
She continued, “It was a matter of seconds. It’s not something that looks ordinary, which is why I realized it was kind of an unusual occurrence that I don’t usually see in swimming pools.
Another adult man who escaped from the sinkhole was treated by staff from Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national medical emergency, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service, the Jerusalem Post.
“A 34-year-old man who pulled himself out of the pit was sitting outside the pool, agitated,” said MDA paramedic Uri Damari.
“He suffered minor injuries to his head and limbs and after medical treatment we evacuated him to hospital.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to MDA for comment.
A sinkhole is a hole or “depression” in the ground that “has no natural external surface drainage,” according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
“Basically, this means that when it rains, all the water stays inside the sinkhole and generally drains underground,” the agency says on the US Department of the Interior’s website. .
Sinkholes are most common in regions (called karst terrain) where certain types of rock underground can naturally be dissolved by groundwater flowing through the surface, the USGS reports.
When water from precipitation seeps into the ground, soluble rocks (beds and domes of salt, gypsum, limestone and other carbonate rocks) begin to dissolve, which “creates underground spaces and caverns”, according to the ‘USGS.
“Chasms are dramatic because the earth usually stays untouched for some time until the spaces underground become too large.”
“If there is not enough support for the earth above the gaps, then sudden collapse of the earth’s surface may occur,” the USGS said.
Last year, Ittai Gavrieli of the Geological Institute of Israel told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that there were thousands of sinkholes around the shores of the Dead Sea, in Jordan, Israel and in the West Bank, The Times of Israel reported.
The USGS says there is no data available on sinkhole collapses in America, although some states will track individual sinkholes through geological surveys.