Injured from Burgas blast arrive in Israel

First plane of 33 wounded returns to Israel, sent to hospitals around the country; Last 3 seriously wounded en route on IDF plane.

July 19, 2012 18:52
2 minute read.
IDF team lands in Bulgaria to bring home wounded

IDF medical team lands in Bulgaria to bring home wounded 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman)

Thirty-three people wounded in the bus bombing at the Burgas airport in Bulgaria on Wednesday landed in Israel at 2:30 on Thursday afternoon at Ben-Gurion airport and were immediately transferred by ambulance to area hospitals. The majority of the victims that returned on Thursday were lightly injured though four were injured seriously or critically.

The terror attack targeting Israeli tourists killed at least seven people in the city of Burgas, soon after a charter plane, Air Bulgaria flight 392 arrived from Ben-Gurion Airport. The seven included five Israelis, the bus driver and the suicide bomber, according to the Foreign Ministry.

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A second Israel Air Force plane carrying three people seriously wounded in the attack set out from Bulgaria for Israel on Thursday evening.

The plane was expected to land in Israel on Thursday night, after which the three seriously wounded people will be transferred to Israeli hospitals for continued treatment.

The coffins of the five Israelis killed in the attack were also scheduled to arrive in Israel Thursday night when a brief IDF ceremony will be held.

Brigadier-General (Brig.-Gen.) Dr. Itzik Kreiss commended the Bulgarian medical services for fully cooperating with Israeli doctors. He also credited the hospitals with saving the lives of some of the victims.

“It’s not always nice to be Israeli, but this is a country that knows, within 24 hours, how to bring back all of her wounded and injured from every place in the world, it makes it a little easier,” said Kreiss.

Kreiss, who accompanied the flight from Bulgaria, said the injuries were consistent with other bus bombings, including broken limbs, cuts, burns, and multiple injuries. Kreiss added that he did not see any children under the age of 18 but could not confirm there were no children injured. Kreiss said that some of the people were in a good mental state and some were less good. “Unfortunately, it’s the same mental state as we have seen in many instances that this has happened here,” he said. 

The wounded were sent to ten different hospitals: Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba; Wolfson Medical Center in Holon; Emek Medical Center in Afula; Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya; the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa; the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tzrifin; the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot; the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon; and the Laniado Hospital in Netanya.

The medical core on Thursday morning sent some 30 officers and soldiers comprising surgeons, trauma experts and anesthesiologist to treat the wounded and prep for their return to Israel.

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The rest of the some 150 passengers on the ill fated Air Bulgaria plane who were targeted when they arrived in Burgas will be able to fly home on a civilian airliner. It is expected that most of those uninjured, who flew to Bulgaria on that flight, will opt to come home.

The airport in Burgas was closed to regular aircraft, though the Bulgarian authorities were allowing whatever Israeli aircraft was needed to fly in and out of the facility.

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