(JTA) -- The fire raging in northern Israel was still out of control as the sun set on Friday, with 42 people reported dead.
At least 17,000 Israelis were evacuated from the area of the blaze, which spread closer to Haifa on Friday. The University of Haifa, which was evacuated on Thursday, has become a staging ground for emergency personnel. Most of those killed by the fire were prison guard cadets aboard a bus that was trapped Thursday by burning trees felled by the flames. The guards were enroute to a nearby prison to carry out an inmate evacuation.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- In a country always on guard to prevent the next tragedy born of terrorism or war, an out-of-control forest fire was the culprit in a tragic bus incident that left some 40 people dead in northern Israel.
The bus, carrying police cadets from Israel’s prison service, became stuck Thursday morning among burning trees that fell on the road, trapping dozens inside who were on their way to evacuate prisoners from the path of the blaze. Most of the bus passengers were killed. Footage of the burned-out shell of the bus was broadcast throughout Israel.