One person was killed and nine others were reported injured when a pipe carrying hydrochloric acid burst Monday at a pumping facility near a quarry in the Arava Desert.
Police said the pipe seems to have burst in the course of an attempt to dig into rock. The wounded are reportedly men in their 50s who inhaled the substance and whose respiratory organs have been damaged. One of them is listed in critical condition, three are in serious condition and one is in moderate condition.
Magen David Adom paramedics who arrived on the scene offered the injured initial medical aid. Helicopters have been called in to evacuate the wounded to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.
Route 90 has been reopened to traffic, It was initially closed off in both directions from Hatzeva Junction to Kooshi Junction.
It is not clear what caused the pipe to burst. The quarry is located south of Ein Yahav.