A mass-casualty traffic accident on a main highway in central Israel claimed six lives, including three children; 11 people were wounded. Police are investigating the circumstances.
Six people are dead and 11 were wounded in a horrific crash on Highway 1 in central Israel, near the city of Mod’in, early Sunday evening. Three of the fatalities are children.
Two of the wounded are in serious condition; three are moderately injured, and the rest are lightly hurt. Magen David Adom paramedics and a Zaka emergency response team arrived at the scene; the wounded were all evacuated to nearby hospitals.
An Egged bus, traveling from Jerusalem to the orthodox neighborhood of B’nei Brak in the Tel Aviv district, reportedly hit a truck parked in a narrow shoulder of the road but jutting out slightly, an Egged spokesperson said.
The truck driver, a 40-year-old Arab resident of Jerusalem, was on the phone with his brother just before the accident. He had stopped the vehicle due to apparent gear malfunction.
“He told me there was a problem with the truck and that he heard a noise,” the brother said, according to Ynet. “I told him to pull over and check but after a few minutes he said there was a war and fatalities and hung up. I called the police and reported it and arrived here immediately.”
The bus and truck drivers were both taken in for questioning.
Ynet reported that the commander of the Beit Shemesh fire station, Reuven Yitzhak, who headed the rescue operation, said: “We arrived at the scene and saw a truck on the side of the road. We were told the bus came at it from the left. The entire right side of the bus was peeled off, ripped out to the seats. We went on the bus and found fatalities lying between the seats.”
“The place looked like a battlefield. Some of them [the victims] flew from the bus, some were crushed to death,” ZAKA volunteer Moti Bokchin told Arutz Sheva.
Others were trapped inside the bus, medics said.
“It’s a difficult evening with tidings of Job from the deadly crash,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement. “I join in the sorrow of the families and wish a full recovery to the wounded on behalf of the entire nation.”
Deputy Commissioner Yaron Be’eri, commander of the National Traffic Police, said that a special investigative team has been launched to determine what exactly took place, and that they are trying to avoid rumors until the investigation is concluded, the Jerusalem Post said.
By: Terri Nir, United with Israel
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Source: United with Israel