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Three dead, another injured in Rafah tunnel collapse

Aug. 28, 2009 9:21 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2009 12:55 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Three Palestinians were killed and another injured after a tunnel collapsed in southern Gaza on Friday morning.

Medics at Yousef An-Najjar Hospital told Ma'an three bodies were brought in after the Rafah tunnel collapsed. Another injured Palestinian was taken to the European Hospital, they said.

All four men were thought to be from the same family, the Al-Lahhams of Khan Younis.

Dr Mu'awiya Hassanein, the head of emergency and ambulance services at Gaza's Health Ministry, confirmed the three deaths later on Friday morning.

Since Israel and Egypt imposed a devastating blockade on Gaza in 2007, a vast network of smuggling tunnels has become the only reliable means of moving goods into Gaza.

These tunnels, originally built to smuggle weapons into Gaza, have become a life source for Gazans providing them with a variety of commercial goods that are banned by Israel.

It is believed that over 200 tunnels flow under the Philadelphi Corridor (the Gaza-Egypt border).

The dangers of working in the tunnels are immense and dozens of Gazans and Egyptians die each year in tunnel-related incidents.
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