Haifa Forest Fires Kill 40



By: BEV SPRITZER  
Published: December 2nd 2010
in News » Israel

Forest fires in Northern Israel, ONE

On Thursday, a forest fire near Haifa raged out of control, killing almost 40 people, according to Israel’s ambulance service, Magen David Adom.

 

Officials described the inferno as among the worst in the nation's history, with hundreds of firefighters both on ground and in the air struggling to subdue the blaze.

 

The country of Greece recently told Israel that they have dispatched fire-fighting aircraft to Northern parts of the country.

 

Netanyahu also recently spoke with heads of Cyprus, Italy and Russia about recruiting additional firefighters.

 

Magen David Adom said its paramedics were on the ground treating individuals caught in the flames.

 

"There are about 45 casualties, of whom about 40 are dead," the Magen David Adom said in a statement.

 

Witnesses reported ghastly scenes.

 

Fireman Dudu Vanunu told Channel Two television he saw fire envelop a bus believed to be trying to evacuate people ahead of the enormous flames.

 

"Anyone who's ever seen a firestorm will know. They could not survive it, they had no protection, they just fell to the road and burned alive," he said.

 

Earlier, public radio reported that another bus carrying 50 people had flipped over while trying to escape the inferno, and was subsequently caught in the fire.

 

Police told reporters they evacuated the Damon prison, which primarily houses Palestinian security prisoners and others found in Israel without permits.

 

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that some 20 families from the Arab village of Ussafiya had been evacuated from their homes in the Carmel hill ridge, one of Israel's most popular spots.

 

It has also been reported that the village of Beit Oran has been almost entirely destroyed.

 

Police currently blame strong winds for the spread of the fire.



Related articles: (fire, forest fire, carmel, Haifa, firefighters, magen david adom)

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