Dean Yaakov Shoshani and Stav Harari, both 25, met a nightmare ending after getting trapped in a flooding elevator. The couple in Tel Aviv failed to be rescued after the elevator broke down on the underground parking level of a building. While families and neighbours mourn the loss of the young couple, government representatives have been trying to shift the blame from the slow-reacting emergency services.

Residents of the south Tel Aviv building recalled how they heard the heart-stopping screams of the trapped couple slowly die out as the elevator flooded. The residents told the media that they first heard them banging on the elevator and screaming for help on January 4. Many residents called emergency services multiple times.

The residents tried but failed to open the elevator doors. Eventually, the couple fell silent before the police or rescue services arrived. An investigation launched by the police revealed that the couple got trapped in the flooding elevator as the water short-circuited it. Stuck in the flooding basement, the elevator doors did not stop the water from slowly filling the enclosed space.

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Couple drowned trapped in a flooding elevator. Reuters

The Times of Israel reported that residents of the area blamed the police for neglect. The residents claim that the working-class south Tel Aviv area with a predominantly Arab population is being neglected by city officials, while the north and central areas get preferential treatment.

Instead of focusing on the infrastructural pitfalls in the area, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai blamed rainfall for the calamity. Huldai stated that the torrential rainfall that was experienced over the weekend was a "once-in-50-years" event. He claimed that no drainage system in the world could have dealt with the deluge.

After the death of the couple, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services issued public instructions on how to stay safe in flooded areas. People, including disabled people, were instructed to avoid using elevators during the flooding as they could short circuit and trap the occupants. People were also instructed to avoid entering subterranean structures.

The safety warnings came too late for the couple who faced a fate which most people see in their nightmares. Along with paying tribute to the couple who had been living together for years, their families stated that only the municipal welfare department had been in touch with them. Neither the police nor the municipality contacted the families after the incident, showing evidence of further neglect.