'3 police killed in Carmel fire could have been saved'

Investigators gathering testimony for state comptroller's report discover true heroism of senior police officers.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 15, 2010 17:51
1 minute read.
Vilna'i examining burnt out bus in Carmel fire

311_Vilnai with burnt out Carmel bus. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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New facts regarding the investigation of the response to Carmel fires reported in the Hebrew media on Wednesday suggested that at least three of the police officers burned alive next to the ill-fated bus in the Carmel could have escaped from the inferno. Instead, these three - Asst.-Cmdr. Ahuva Tomer, Asst.-Cmdr. Lior Boker and Dep.-Cmdr. Itzik Melina - chose to stay and try to save the Prison Service cadets trapped on the bus and perished in the effort.

Another reported fact discovered by investigators working with the State Comptroller was that, contrary to some earlier reports, 180 out of 550 prisoners being held in Damun Prison that was threatened by flames had still yet to be evacuated to safety when the bus full of Prison Service officer cadets made its way to relieve them.

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Police sources contacted by The Jerusalem Post refused to confirm these reports.

The new evidence culled by investigators will be officially released when State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss publishes his full report with the upcoming months.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attempted to stave off criticism of the government-supported Knesset measure to delay a decision on a future official probe of the authorities response to the Carmel fires by calling on State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to conduct an investigation into the incidents surrounding the blaze.

Lindenstrauss accepted Netanyahu’s request to investigate the fire. The prime minister made the request in a meeting of the ministerial committee on governmental oversight, headed by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, that he convened in his office.

Netanyahu’s office said Lindenstrauss would submit his report to the government as soon as possible within the next four months.

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