JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israel Defense Forces sent medical personnel, engineers and a search-and-rescue team to Ghana Wednesday evening after a four-story shopping center collapsed, trapping dozens under the rubble.
The shopping center, built in a suburb of Ghana's capital, Accra, opened last February.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the Home Front Command to send help. Israel's Foreign Ministry coordinated the team's arrival with authorities in Ghana.
The 18-member Israeli team flew to Accra Wednesday night, the IDF reported.
Magen David Adom, Israel's national rescue service, followed on Thursday with a team of paramedics and EMTs to set up an onsite field hospital where they'll assist local doctors and nurses.
So far, rescuers have pulled 51 people trapped under the rubble to safety. So far there are three confirmed deaths, but authorities in Ghana said there are likely to be more.
Despite its small size, Israel is always one of the first countries to dispatch rescue teams wherever needed. Home Front Command search-and-rescue teams were dispatched to Haiti and Japan following earthquakes.