Close Katyusha hit fails to shut Haifa hospital [p. 8]

August 14, 2006 00:53
1 minute read.

The missile that fell behind Bnei-Zion Medical Center in Haifa shattered scores of windows but didn't keep the staff from treating the more than 72 wounded that flooded its emergency room following the attack. With less than 15 hours to go until the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah goes into effect at 8 a.m. Monday morning, Haifa and the surrounding area were hit with some 12 missiles early Sunday evening. The Medical Center's Director-General Amnon Rofeh said he had just left the hospital when he heard the warning siren ring and returned immediately into the building seeking shelter. He showed how the special tape the hospital had used to protect the windows kept the glass from spreading across the hospital even as it shattered within the frame. For several hours after the attack the staff found pieces of metal scattered throughout the building. Outside on the street below, the missile broke windows and burned cars to a crisp. Dakar Atal, who lived in an apartment across the street from where the missile hit, said that when he heard the warning sirens, he picked up his one-and-a-half- year-old daughter. Along with his wife, they fled downstairs to the bottom of the stairwell. Then they heard a loud explosion and the building shook. He and his daughter were thrown against the wall. There was a bitter smell, he said, and then when he ventured outside he could see a fire burning in the street. Standing next to a burned-out car wearing a hospital bracelet and shorts, he said that the entire family went to the hospital for a check-up. "I expect Nasrallah wants to finish off his arsenal before the cease-fire," he said. Still wearing her apron, Hagit Yaish said she had been cooking when the warning sirens rang out but had thought to turn off the stove before heading for shelter with her neighbors. "We were in shock. At first we thought it had fallen on the house," she said. Then she became concerned for her car. In the dark she was relieved to see that only the glass was broken across the back seat.

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