'People are stuck under the concrete'

Bus driver involved in accident in which four people were killed questioned on suspicion of causing death by negligence.

Tags: Accidents
Ben Ariel ,

Scene of accident
Scene of accident
ZAKA spokesperson

Police have launched an investigation into the fatal accident on Sunday evening on Highway 4 near the Ben Gurion Airport, in which four passengers of Egged Route 947 from Jerusalem to Haifa were killed.

The driver of the bus, who was moderately injured, was questioned at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah on suspicion of causing death due to negligence. The bodies of the four people who were killed, a man and three women, were taken to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.

14 other people were injured in the accident and were treated by Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah paramedics. A woman aged 67 and a woman aged 19 were evacuated in serious condition to the Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, and 12 victims in light-to-moderate condition were evacuated to the Assaf Harofeh, Beilinson and Sharon hospitals.

The accident occurred at about 7:40 p.m. The bus approached a stop made out of concrete at the Bedek Junction, and for an unknown reason veered off the road and crashed into it. The ceiling of the bus stop crushed the occupants of the bus, killing four of them.

Lieutenant Hai Mizrahi, an officer at the Traffic Division of the Central Division of the Israel Police, said at the scene, "We are currently in the initial stages of the investigation. Apparently and according to initial findings, the bus driver lost control and as a result hit the stop. When the rescue forces arrived, we saw four fatalities in the accident, another 14 passengers have been evacuated to different hospitals in different conditions.”

Egged Transportation said, "Near the intersection of the Israel Aerospace Industries, the bus veered off the road for an unknown reason and hit the concrete stop. The circumstances of the accident, the veering off the road and the hitting of the structure will be investigated by police when the process of evacuating the casualties concludes. We express deep sorrow over the deaths of the passengers.”

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who arrived at the scene of the accident, said afterwards, "Shocked to the depths of my soul by the scene of the accident on Highway 40. It is too early to draw conclusions, but an analysis of the all fatal accidents of recent times raises one common denominator: Error by the driver.”

“The infrastructure is forgiving and yet the results are tragic. We have to take responsibility. I beg of you - leave all the distractions aside and concentrate 100% on driving," Smotrich asked the drivers. “I pray for the recovery of the injured, share in the grief of the families, and thank the rescue forces for their holy work."