5 dead, dozens wounded in bus crash in northern Israel

The IDF has also sent medical units and Air Force helicopters with Unit 669 fighters to assist in rescuing, evacuating and treating the wounded. 

By Gil Tanenbaum, TPS

United Hatzalah volunteers are currently treating a large number of injured on Highway 89 near Hurfeish due to a bus accident. A private car and bus crashed into one another.

As of now, 45 people are reported injured in addition to the five who were killed in the accident.

The bus was carrying about 40 members of Israel’s Bnei Akiva religious Zionist youth organization. They were on their way home from a Sukkot holiday event in the north of Israel. The youths come from the town of Mevo Dotan in northern Samaria and Harish. Helicopters from the Air Force and MDA were called to the scene to help evacuate the wounded, to Ziv Hospitals in Safed, Rambam in Haifa and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

MDA paramedic Claude Issa told the media, “We arrived at the scene with large forces that included intensive care vehicles, ambulances, emergency motorcycles and an MDA helicopter. The bus was overturned on its side across the road. During the rescue operations of the passengers of the vehicle, we had to determine the deaths of four of the occupants of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was seriously injured and was evacuated to the hospital by helicopter during medical treatment.”

Naama Darshan from Mevo Dotan, a mother of three who was on the bus, told Israel’s Kan 11 News, “We do not know exactly what happened, we know that the bus overturned. I was on my way to the hospital, ambulances came and took children to the hospital in Safed and Nahariya. We did not know where they were evacuated at first. Messages from the scene. That’s how we understood what happened.”

The IDF has also sent medical units and Air Force helicopters with Unit 669 fighters to assist in rescuing, evacuating and treating the wounded.

As of now, it has been confirmed that five people were killed in the accident. Four of the victims were riding in a private car. One was a five-year-old girl. The other three included a 12-year-old child, a fifteen year old and a thirty five year old woman. The fifth victim was the 76-year-old male bus driver.

Thirty five people have been taken to the hospital, three of whom are reportedly in critical condition.

Due to the nature of the incident, United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit has been dispatched to respond to the incident and provide emotional and psychological support in addition to emergency medical services (EMS) that are active at the scene.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and chapter Head of the Ma’alot region reported from the scene: “The incident involves a bus that is flipped over on its side as well as a large van and a private car. Thus far our volunteers have treated upwards of 20 people injured who are conscious. There are other injured who are unconscious as well as those who are still trapped that we haven’t been able to reach yet. Firefighters are currently working to extricate them from the wreckage.”

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and head of the Ma’alot Chapter Oshri Eliyahu added: “Sadly, four people from the private vehicle involved in the crash were pronounced dead at the scene. These include a 35-year-old woman, a boy aged 15, another aged 12, and a 5-year-old girl. Our volunteers who are part of the Emergency Room Relief Project have gathered and are assisting with the reception and triage of patients in Ziv Hospital, The Galilee Medical center in Nahariya, and Rambam Hospital in Haifa.”