JERUSALEM -- Brick by brick, rescue workers dug for survivors Friday from a wedding that turned tragic when the top floor of a banquet hall collapsed into a pile of rubble, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 300.
Assi and Keren Sror had just become husband and wife and their 600 guests were dancing when the floor of the Versailles wedding hall caved in late Thursday, in what officials called the worst accident of its kind in Israel's history. The newlyweds, their families and friends plunged down three stories, as ceiling after ceiling buckled and crashed to the ground.
"We were on people -- those poor people," said Tamar Revivo, 26, from her hospital bed Friday, where she was being treated for a fractured right ankle. "I'd see a hand. I'd see a person. They tried to get me out and I had to walk on them."
Sara Pinhas, a relative of the groom, said dancers had just lifted the father of the groom on a chair, a traditional part of the Jewish wedding celebration, when suddenly he fell, "and then we felt the whole building collapse, everything fell down."
Jerusalem police ruled out the possibility of a terror attack, saying the building collapsed because of structural failure. According to first reports, the building appeared not to be up to construction codes. Several supporting columns in the halls had also been removed to enlarge the reception area and the floor tiles had recently been replaced.
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