Flash flood survivor recalls: I saw people floating

One of the students who survived the Nahal Tzafit flood recalls the moments in which 10 teenagers were killed.

Ben Ariel ,

ZAKA at site of Nahal Tzafit flood
ZAKA at site of Nahal Tzafit flood

The testimony of one of the youths who survived Thursday's flash flood in Nahal Tzafit in the Arava provides a glimpse into the horrors suffered by the students who were caught in the flood.

Ten Israeli students were killed in the disaster. Several other students were injured.

"I saw people floating," recalled a teen who survived the incident and was treated at the Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. "I did not know if they were alive or if what I saw were bodies."

The boy's father, Nissim, told Hadashot TV that "I have a lot of difficult questions, but this is not the time to ask them. My condolences to those fathers and mothers who lost their beloved ones. My wife and I were lucky that our son is still alive."

The son had carried a large jerrycan of water when the disaster occurred and told his father, "At one point there was a wave of water 3-4 meters high. I held one of my friends firmly on the right side of my body. It was hard for me to maneuver because the jerrycan made it hard for me."

"There was a huge flow of water that we could not cope with," added the son. "She disappeared in front of my eyes. I saw people floating - were they alive or did I see a body?" asked the son, who still does not know that his friends were killed.

Nissim said that the hike was supposed to take place in the Jerusalem area, but the plan was changed at the last minute. "I knew that my son was going on a hike but they told me that they stopped in the Jerusalem area. Later, they sent me a message saying that because of the weather they were changing direction to the Tze'elim area, which is considered safe and therefore they went there," he said.