Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported that five Palestinians were killed and at least 15 others were wounded when a tunnel on the Gaza- Egypt border, near Rafah, collapsed on them on Friday at night.

Eyewitnesses reported that several Palestinians were digging the tunnel but it suddenly collapsed on them trapping twenty under the rubble.

Dr. Moawiya Hassanen, head of the Emergency Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the report.  He added that the accident was probably caused by a gas explosion.

Dr. Hassanen added that most of the casualties suffocated after the tunnel collapsed on them.   

 The Israeli government claims that the tunnels on the borders are meant for smuggling weapons and ammunition into the Gaza Strip, but the Palestinians say that these tunnels are a response to the Israeli siege on the impoverished Gaza Strip.