Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Teves 5764 - January 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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32 Yeshiva Students Injured in Bus Accident
by Betzalel Kahn

Over 32 yeshiva students from the US were injured in a serious road accident last week late Thursday night near Yanai Junction in the Sharon Region. Two of the victims are listed in serious condition and three in moderate condition, while the rest sustained only minor injuries.

Most of the talmidim were alumni of Yeshivas Or Yisroel in Brooklyn, NY, and had come to Eretz Yisroel for a brief visit. A few yeshiva students from Jerusalem were also on the bus. They were traveling from Jerusalem to Meron, where they were scheduled to spend Shabbos, when the accident occurred.

According to the police investigation, the bus collided with a parked army flatbed carrying a tank and blocking part of the lane of traffic. The truck had stopped on the side of the road following a technical problem and the bus driver may have dozed momentarily just before the powerful impact.

The passengers, most of whom did not speak Hebrew, were in a state of general panic following the accident. Numerous rescue workers from Hatzolah, ZAKA, Magen David Adom and the fire department arrived at the scene almost immediately, where they spent a long time administering first aid to the accident victims and transporting them to area hospitals. Members of Hatzoloh and ZAKA from Netanya and Hadera who treated the victims even assisted hospital personnel to communicate with the patients.

Sixteen talmidim who sustained minor injuries were transported to Laniado Hospital in Netanya's Kiryat Tzanz, while 14 others were brought to Hillel Yaffa Hospital in Hadera. The two who suffered serious injuries were stabilized at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva and then transferred to Tel Hashomer Hospital. Some of the accident victims were released on Friday and others were transferred to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment and observation.

Shortly after the collision observers at the accident scene met a grim sight. "The scene looked like after a terrorist attack," one eyewitness told reporters. "Fragments of glass were scattered everywhere, a tire was lying on the road. The right side of the bus was completely torn off. The seats were covered with food, challos and blood stains. The whole front end of the bus was destroyed. The windshield was totally shattered. Some of the passengers' bags were lying in a pile and shoes were lying loosely on the floor of the bus."

Friday morning the police began to investigate allegations by some passengers that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. They said the driver told them at the beginning of the trip he was tired following long hours of driving and that he had slept very little the previous night. The police took the tachometer for checks that could indicate the reason for the accident.

ZAKA of Netanya took passengers unharmed in the accident to Kiryat Tzanz, where arrangements were made for lodging and Shabbos meals. ZAKA and Hatzoloh volunteers worked late into the night after all the victims had been evacuated, gatherings all of their belongings--tefillin, hats, suits, luggage, etc.--and bringing them to Kiryat Tzanz, where they were sorted by the uninjured passengers.

The public has been asked to pray for the speedy recovery of the victims who sustained serious injuries: Yechezkel Shraga ben Chayoh Perl, Avrohom Tzvi ben Sheindel, Moshe ben Channah Rivkoh, Nachum Yisroel ben Reitza, Boruch Avrohom Tzvi ben Sheindel Soroh, the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Geldzahler, Elimelech Eliezer ben Henia Frida, and his son Mordechai Dov Ber ben Beila Miriam.

A spokesman for Hatzolah said on Monday night that plans were underway to transport them back to the US.


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