Tragedy in the North: At least 40 dead as bus overturns

Bus apparently left Damon Prison during evacuation; fire-fighting crews, planes attempt to control fire in brush-covered Carmel area amidst heavy winds; over 6,000 dunams burned.

December 2, 2010 17:07
1 minute read.
Fire rages in the Carmel, Thursday

Carmel fire 311. (photo credit: Israel Police)

At least forty people were killed in the North on Thursday, according to Magen David Adom, when a bus which left the Damon Prison overturned after getting stuck in a huge fire in the Carmel area.

The fire, which broke out near the Druze village of Usfiya in the North on Thursday morning, was spreading and threatened villages in the area after already having burned some 6,000 dunams.

Emergency services were attempting to rescue the passengers, and dozens of ambulances were making their way to a staging area at the entrance of Kibbutz Beit Oren.

Dozens of fire crews were battling the flames with the help of water dropped from airplanes. Nearby Damon Prison was evacuated and prisoners were being transported to other facilities. Emergency services crews ordered the evacuation of Kibbut Beit Oren, some 30 families from Usfiya, University of Haifa and other towns in the area for fear that the blaze could spread further.

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The area in question contains heavy brush which burns easily, according to firefighters. This fact coupled with strong winds has prompted the evacuations and the presence of multiple fire crews brought in to help with the blaze from various districts in the country.

According to fire officials, crews have been unable to control the fire at all, and the cause was unknown.

Area residents were instructed to remain indoors, to avoid being exposed to harmful fumes.

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