Two killed, 41 injured as bus overturns on highway near Jerusalem
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Two killed, 41 injured as bus overturns on highway near Jerusalem

Bus collides with van on Route 443; wounded taken to hospitals as crane brought in to help rescue efforts; PM says praying for recovery of those hurt

The scene of a bus crash near Beit Horon on Route 443, February 10, 2019. (Israel Police)
The scene of a bus crash near Beit Horon on Route 443, February 10, 2019. (Israel Police)

Two women were killed Sunday morning when a bus overturned on a highway near Jerusalem after hitting a van, with 41 people suffering injuries in the crash including two said to be in serious condition, and five people moderately wounded.

A Magen David Adom paramedic said the injured were taken to four hospitals, with the majority suffering light wounds. Some of the injured were children and teens.

The crash occurred on Route 443, near the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on the way from Modiin Illit to Jerusalem.

Hebrew-language media reports said the cause of the crash hadn’t yet been determined, but that it was thought that the car stopped suddenly after noticing an accident and the bus driver did not manage to stop his vehicle in time. The bus collided with the van before hitting the safety railing and landing on its side.

The scene of a crash near Beit Horon on Route 443, February 10, 2019. (Israel Police)

A crane was brought to the scene to lift the bus and turn it upright to extract those trapped underneath.

The Association of Public Transportation workers rejected the accusations of blame faced by the driver of Kavim bus number 304, calling on authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deadly crash.

The Kavim bus company issued a statement of condolences to the families of those killed and wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured. The company said it was cooperating with the investigation into the crash.

The scene of a bus crash near Beit Horon on Route 443, February 10, 2019. (United Hatzalah)

The drivers of both vehicles were questioned by police under caution, the Ynet news site reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting that he had been briefed on the incident and that everyone was praying for the recovery of those injured. Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman visited the scene of the crash.

Route 443 was closed in both directions for a time but was later reopened.

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