Two post-army trekkers die in Bolivia road accident

Another woman injured; vehicle overturns while driving through salt flats, where five Israeli tourists were killed in 2008.

Bolivia salt flat 311 Reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Bolivia salt flat 311 Reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
Dana Bikovitzky, 22, from Herzliya, and Ofir Chen, 22, from Moshav Beit Herut, between Hadera and Netanya, were killed, and a third woman was injured, when the jeep they were riding in overturned in the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, in southwest Bolivia.
The Bolivian driver of the vehicle was also killed.
The women were on a post-army trek. A similar accident in the same region took place three years ago, killing five Israeli youths.
Bolivia severed ties with Israel in 2009, following Operation Cast Lead, so Israel’s consul in Peru, Amir Cohen, is dealing with the matter and was scheduled to arrive in Bolivia on Wednesday afternoon, local time. The Foreign Ministry said that the women’s families have been informed of their deaths.
Cohen told Israel Radio that the injured woman was listed in good condition, suffering from broken bones, and that the circumstances of the accident were still not known. He said that the bodies of the two women will be flown back to Israel for burial in the coming days.
Despite a lack of diplomatic ties, hundreds of Israeli tourists – mostly young backpackers – go to Bolivia each year as part of their post-army trips to South America.
The deaths in Bolivia follow by less than two months the deaths of three other young Israeli backpackers killed in the devastating earthquake that hit New Zealand in February.