The Egged bus driver involved in Thursday’s deadly accident at the Carmel Tunnels was released Friday to a five day house arrest at the order of the Haifa Magistrate’s Court. The bus driver had earlier been remanded into police custody after he was released from the hospital.
A 17-year-old girl injured in the crash, named as Or Elbaz of Haifa, died at a local hospital Friday morning.
While the driver claimed that a technical failure caused the crash, Egged on Friday issued a statement saying the bus was brand new and completely up to standard. “It appears that the cause of the accident was the driver’s careless behavior and driving which was not suitable for the road conditions,” the Egged statement read. “The company will cooperate as required and will provide the police with any information requested from it.”
Police said they were checking every possibility, including the driver’s possible inattention.
At least 54 people were hurt, some critically, in the accident in northern Israel. As of Friday morning, 35 people remained hospitalized, according to Ynet. Five remained in serious condition.
According to the Magen David Adom emergency medical service, one person sustained critical injuries, six people were severely wounded, and seven more were in moderate condition. The remaining casualties were all lightly injured.
According to initial reports, the bus swerved into a wall in the tunnel and then into a truck.
The tunnels were closed to traffic in both directions following the crash.
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