This is real serious tragedy, especially during the Chanukkah holiday period. The Tundra Tabloids extends its condolences to the victims’ relatives and friends. KGS

40 believed killed in huge Israel forest fire

HAIFA, Israel (AFP) – Around 40 people are believed to have been killed in a devastating forest fire raging out of control near Israel’s northern city of Haifa, the country’s ambulance service said on Thursday.

Officials described the inferno as among the worst in the nation’s history, with hundreds of firefighters on the ground and in the air battling to tame the blaze.

Israel’s ambulance service Magen David Adom said its paramedics were on the ground treating people caught in the flames.

“There are about 45 casualties, of whom about 40 are dead,” the ambulance service said in a statement.
Witnesses reported gruesome scenes.

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

“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.

Public radio reported earlier that a bus carrying 50 people had overturned while trying to escape the blaze and had been caught in the fire.

The Zaka organisation, which specialises in recovering human remains in accordance with Jewish religious law, put out a call for all its volunteers to report to the area.

“To my regret, people have lost their lives,” Eli Bin, the head of the Israeli national ambulance service, told public radio.

More here.

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