Burgas MDA (R370).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Magen David Adom director Eli Bin said that the scene at the Burgas Airport when MDA paramedics arrived around midnight on Wednesday was “chaos” and Israelis were milling around stunned and missing clothes and shoes. He said the Israelis refused to leave the airport terminal until Israeli authorities arrived, and gave them “thunderous applause” when the rescue teams from MDA and army entered the building.
Many of the Israelis were offered flights back to Israel on Bulgarian Air but refused to come with any plane that was not an Israeli plane, he said.
The victims flown back to Israel on the first flight that arrived in Israel around 2:30 on Thursday afternoon were flown back as is, missing clothes or shoes. MDA distributed clothes from the local the Red Cross to some of the victims after they arrived. The injured victims also returned to Israel without their luggage and without passports. The Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria signed that he recognized every victim so they could return to Israel without documents.
Bin commended the cooperation with the local Red Cross and local authorities and said that Israeli rescue services received all of the permits needed immediately. He said that the city of Burgas has only 8 ambulances in the entire city so it was woefully unprepared to deal with such a large emergency.
In Burgas, Israelis are not allowed to walk around freely and any Israeli in the street must be accompanied by an armed guard, Bin added. The hospital in Burgas was also guarded while Israeli victims were there.
The five Israeli victims who were killed in the bombing will leave Burgas after an official ceremony around 6:30 pm during which Israeli authorities will load the coffins onto the plane. The bodies are expected in Israel between 8:00 and 9:00 and will be transferred directly to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.
“Every Israeli needs to know that anywhere he is, in the most remote place, MDA, the army, and the Israeli government will bring them home,” Bin said.