Two 16 y.o. boys stole the keys of the family car and were killed in an accident. They had no driving licences and probably were on drugs or drunk. In Israel, every road (or work) accident that ends in death is automatically investigated by the criminal police. In this case, the police has focused on the Municipality of Rishon LeZion (south of Tel Aviv) and interrogated the engineers who planned the iron bars protecting the bus station (which was demolished, see pic). The detectives also demanded the street's engineering drawings.
As a consulting engineer working for municipalities and friend of city engineers, I find this development quite worrying. In the collapse of the bridge (in the Maccabiada), the engineer who did the calculations went to jail (one year, I think) although the numbers were correct. Somebody had to pay and since he had absolutely nothing to do with the accident, he didnt ran away and was cought. In the case of the building that collapsed in Jerusalem, the engineer who invented the building method (using steel wire mesh) was condemned. The technique is innovative and ingenious, it was applied successfully by many designs and of course the man had nothing to do with that
Now the detectives are focusing on who designed and who authorized the iron barrier that "caused" the accident. Israel is full of identic structures designed to protect the people waiting for the bus against crazed Arab suicide terrorists. It started with Arabs stealing heavy trucks and tractors, and crashing them against the crowd - generally young soldiers - standing in the bus stop. Volunteer organizations started to erect these barriers. The American consulate in Tel Aviv is surrounded by similar steel barriers.
I can feel in my guts the anguish of the engineers who designed the barrier and the department manager who authorized its construction. I have designed fire protection systems (with water sprinklers) and hundreds of street manholes (someone can easily fall into one of them!). Should I be worried? Should I be very worried?