13 injured in Georgia collision return to Israel

Wounded met at airport by paramedics, treated and evacuated to hospitals; Behira Nuama, 58, from Kiryat Ata scheduled to be buried.

By
July 11, 2011 01:44
2 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

airplane 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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A plane carrying 13 Israelis injured Sunday in a head-on-collision involving their minibus and a truck in northern Georgia landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport early Monday morning.

MDA paramedics treated the injured on the plane and later evacuated them to hospitals in central Israel.

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Among the wounded, one person was seriously injured, six were listed in moderate condition and six were lightly injured.

One Israeli woman was killed and 13 were injured on Sunday in the collision about 250 kilometers north of the capital Tbilisi.

The woman was identified as Behira Nuama, 58, from Kiryat Ata. She was traveling with her husband, Menashe, and six other couples from Israel in the minibus and an Israeli guide.

Nuama died at the scene of the accident near the city of Kutaisi and will be buried in Israel on Monday.

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The middle-aged couples are all close friends from Haifa’s bayside suburbs, and have traveled together abroad on numerous occasions.

The embassy in Tbilisi was in touch with Georgian emergency teams during the day, and the Foreign Ministry was in contact with the tourists’ families in Israel.

Georgian Ambassador to Israel Vakhtang Jaoshvili said that he was notified of the crash early on Sunday morning and immediately “was in contact with all of the relevant people in Georgia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel.”

The ambassador said the emergency treatment undertaken in Georgia was “quick and professional,” the victims were evacuated to hospitals almost immediately and that collaboration and lines of communication between Israeli and Georgian officials worked superbly.

Jaoshvili said that Saakashvili’s decision to cover all of the expenses for the Israelis’ treatment in Georgia and their emergency flight to Israel was an out-of-the-ordinary sort of gesture that was taken “absolutely because of the special relationship between Georgia and Israel.”

The ambassador said as far as he knows, none of the Israeli victims is of Georgian descent.

When asked if such accidents are common in Georgia and if road touring is a safe option for Israeli travelers, he said, “Unfortunately, such accidents can happen in any country.”

He added that Georgia “is known as a safe place for Israeli tourists. The Jews have been living in Georgia for 26 centuries and there has never been an incident between the Jewish people and the Georgians.”

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