Daily Israel Report

'Six Israelis Dead' in Burgas Blast, 'Mostly Youths'

Tourist bus carrying Israelis exploded near Burgas in Bulgaria. Bulgarian TV: 8 dead. Report: a suicide bomber boarded the bus.
By Gabe Kahn and Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/18/2012, 6:55 PM / Last Update: 7/19/2012, 7:01 AM

Burnt bus at Burgas airport.
Burnt bus at Burgas airport.
Reuters

An explosion on a bus transporting Israeli tourists at the airport near the city of Burgas in Bulgaria on Wednesday left eight dead, six of whom are apparently Israelis. Bulgarian television said that the dead apparently include a Bulgarian tour guide and a bus driver. 

The death toll from seven to eight on Thursday morning, after another Israeli died of his wounds. The destination is popular among Israeli youths and most of the casualties are reportedly youths.

The Foreign Ministry has announced that it is sending personnel to the site.

Voice of Israel Radio said that about 30 people are wounded, four of them seriously, quoting Bulgarian TV. It said that a suicide bomber boarded the bus before the explosion occurred, but other reports said the explosion came from the bus's luggage hold.

The plane whose passengers were attacked reportedly landed in Burgas at 4:45 p.m. local time. The flight was chartered for tour company Kavei Hufsha and there were reportedly 165 passengers on the flight. 

Israel's Ambassador in Bulgaria is on his way to the Burgas Airport.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry is holding special assessments at this time. For information, the telephone number in the Foreign Ministry's situation room is 02-5303155. 

According to one report the explosion occurred on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the terminal "Srfovo." Other reports say the explosion caused at least one other bus to catch fire.  

According to another report, shots were fired at the Israelis. 

Shoshi, an eyewitness, told
Voice of Israel Radio "We went through passport control and representatives were waiting to deposit us in buses to  the hotels. We put the bags in the trunk, and after a few minutes, the bus exploded in flames. Then we returned to the terminal, and now we are trying to determine who is missing and who is dead.”

Shoshi's son added: "People who survived the explosion escaped from the window, and could not step over the bodies. The bus was shattered on both its sides.”

Burgas is a popular tourist town on the Black Sea to which many  Israelis flock each week.