Six children and their two parents were killed in a head-on collision between two cars on Route 90 near the Dead Sea Tuesday.
The family were in a minivan that collided with an SUV on the winding desert highway that skirts the Dead Sea.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.
The parents were identified as Yariv and Shoshi Atar from the West Bank settlement of Psagot. The children’s names were not immediately released for publication.
According to an initial account, the minivan carrying the family ignited following the accident and some of the dead were killed in the blaze, according to rescuers.
By the time firefighters managed to extinguish the flaming car, the trapped passengers had died.
“This was a shocking and difficult accident. When our medics and paramedics arrived, the vehicle [in which the eight deceased were traveling] was burning, and it was impossible to rescue them,” MDA spokesperson Zaki Heller said.
In the SUV, a 52-year-old woman and 12-year-old child were moderately wounded and taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The driver, in his fifties, was lightly wounded.
Sara Israeli, a Magen David Adom medic who arrived at the scene, told Channel 10 news: “I’ve never seen a disaster like this in all my years in MDA. It’s impossible to comprehend those sights.”
She said the driver of the SUV vehicle was “hysterical. He shouted, ‘I killed them, I killed them.'”
The accident shut the Route 90 highway in both directions from the Ein Gedi area to Ein Bokek in the south.