Members of the Zaka rescue team, Orthodox Israelis who are trained to identify and recover human remains, came to Haiti last week after responding to a helicopter crash that killed members of a prominent Jewish family in Mexico.

Mexican Jewish businessman Moises Saba Masri was killed Jan. 11 when one of the rotors of the helicopter in which he was riding struck a building due to heavy fog, according to reports. Masri’s wife, Adela, son, Alberto, daughter-in-law, Judith and the pilot, were also killed. The family was reportedly returning home from a wedding in America at the time.

Masri owned real estate and medical companies, and had extensive holdings in the Mexican telecom company Unefon and broadcaster TV Azteca. He also owned two hotels in Acapulco.

When the powerful Haitian earthquake struck the day after the accident, Zaka members hitched a ride to Port-au-Prince aboard a Mexican Air Force Hercules aircraft.
Before the week was over, Zaka’s workers had pulled out eight students alive from the wreckage of a collapsed university building.

Zaka, whose volunteers are often seen in bright-green vests at the site of terrorist attacks in Israel, was formed to fulfill the halachic requirement that, to the fullest extent possible, all of a victim’s remains be buried together.