One passenger was killed in a tragic accident Wednesday when a chunk of metal flew from a truck and slammed into an Egged bus on Highway 6.
The incident occurred at a spot on the “Cross-Israel Highway” between the Kesem Interchange and Horashim.
A second passenger is in critical condition following the accident. At least 16 others have been taken to hospital with light to moderate injuries.
The road, also known as “Kvish 6,” is the first high-speed toll road to be built in Israel.
Recently extensions were added to the main artery, which so far runs from south of Kiryat Gat to east of Haifa in the north.
Tenders have been published for construction of the highway as far southeast as the Be'er Sheva suburb of Lehavim, and plans call for the road to run past Be'er Sheva in three more years, due to national infrastructure plans to open up the Negev to further development.
The IDF has built a huge military base in the central Negev. Transportation Ministry officials have been considering using the Nevatim Air Force base between Be'er Sheva, Dimona and Route 31, near Arad, as an second international airport.
A few hours later, two trucks collided on the same highway in the early afternoon. Rescue teams that raced to the scene worked to free the driver of one of the trucks, who was trapped in his vehicle -- which also occurred between the Kassem Interchange and Horashim.
One person was moderately to seriously injured and a second was reported to be lightly wounded.