Terror witnesses 311.
(photo credit: Daniel K. Eisenbud)
Dozens of men, women and children milled about in a state of shock shortly after
witnessing an explosion across the street from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
on Wednesday afternoon, as police, IDF soldiers and paramedics struggled to
maintain order amid the chaotic scene.
Cordoned off with red police tape,
the site of the explosion was closely guarded by tense-looking uniformed and
plainclothes officers armed with machine guns. At least two military helicopters
hovered above, as ambulances and police cars raced to and from the
Many of the civilians were in tears; some were
Those not being comforted by police and medical responders
were glued to their cell phones, presumably speaking to worried family and
A father and daughter, Eliyahu and Shirel Shallem, said they
were less than 20 meters from the explosion when it occurred around 3
“I was on the corner near the bus stop looking for my wife when it
happened,” said Shallem, age 53, his face still flushed red with alarm. “The
force threw everybody off balance – to the ground. People were covered in
Shira Shallem, 26, was walking with her father on her way to work
when the bomb went off.
“It exploded outside the bus stop and sent glass
everywhere,” she said, sobbing. “I saw two bodies on the ground – everyone else
There was so much blood. I just stood there
Mor Tsur-Ohayon, 24, a Hebrew University student from Mevasseret
Zion, was on her way to her job as a cleaner when the chaos erupted. She wept as
she called her family and friends to say she was not injured.
stopped in front of the station – I got off and heard a bomb and people started
running to get into the bus station for safety,” she said. “The other half ran
toward the explosion to help.”
Meni Somech, 18, a volunteer EMT, said he
helped take one wounded man in his 20s to an ambulance.
thigh and lower stomach were punctured with glass, metal and stones,” Somech
said. “He was bleeding and rushed by ambulance to the hospital.”
Cohen, 15, who lives in Kfar Maimon – roughly 25 kilometers from Gaza – said he
had just gotten off a bus in front of the central bus station on his way to the
Netiv Meir Yeshiva when he heard the explosion.
“I’m from Gaza – it
sounded like a rocket that exploded 200 meters from my neighborhood,” he
“Everybody got into a panic, then I saw soldiers and lots of cops
on motorbikes – two cops on a bike,” he said. “The first cops went to the
explosion, and the rest made a barrier [around the crime scene].
a girl scream to her friends that one of her parents was supposed to be on a bus
where the bomb went off.”
He then looked at his smartphone.
of my friends are now on Facebook asking me what’s up,” he said, staring at the
phone in disbelief.
Moments later, Cohen looked at his phone again, and
realized he had five unanswered messages from his mother. He paused to finally
contact her to say he was unharmed.
“I told her I heard the bomb, and she
screamed ‘What?! What happened?! Are you hurt?,’” Cohen said. “I tried to
Meanwhile, paramedics not tending to the wounded cleaned
trails of blood off the sidewalk.