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Pregnant mom, daughters killed as bus careens onto Jerusalem sidewalk

Driver thought to have been outside bus fixing technical problem when it rolled away, crashing into people at busy shopping center; man was killed in similar incident on Tuesday

Police and rescue personnel at the scene  of a deadly bus crash in Jerusalem, August 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a deadly bus crash in Jerusalem, August 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Three people were killed and another seriously injured after a bus in Jerusalem lost control and plowed into a bus stop outside a shopping center on a major road near the entrance to the capital, according to first responders.

Shoshana Glustein, 40, of Ofakim, was killed in the crash on Jerusalem’s Shamgar Street together with her two daughters Chaya Sara, 7, and Chana, 3, authorities said.

Glustein was in advanced stages of pregnancy and had been set to soon go on maternity leave, according to Hebrew media reports.

MDA said another six people were injured and taken to local hospitals, including a 21-year-old woman who was seriously hurt. Two other people were listed as in moderate condition and the others were lightly hurt.

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services emergency teams had worked to extract several people trapped beneath the bus.

Police announced the launch of an investigation into the deadly crash, initially saying the bus driver apparently lost control and plowed into pedestrians outside the mall.

However, a senior Jerusalem District commander said the driver was outside the bus at the time trying to fix a “technical malfunction,” when the vehicle began rolling away on its own. “And then what happened, happened,” Assistant Commissioner Kobi Yaakobi told the Kan public broadcaster.

“Bus drivers are collapsing and most of them drive long hours everyday because of a shortage of more than 5,000 drivers,” a bus drivers union said in response to the accident. “The buses have become a ticking time bomb because of the grave shortage. The time has come for the Transportation Ministry to relate to this seriously.”

The crash came just two days after a similar incident in Jerusalem, in which a 70-year-old man was killed when a bus lost control and careened into a building.

It also came on the heels of a particularly bloody day on Israeli roads, with six people killed in traffic incidents around Israel and the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday.

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