School bus crashes near Jerusalem, 8 Palestinian children killed


Palestinian students on a school bus in Jericho. Today's accident reportedly involved Palestinian children going on a school trip to the West Bank.


Menahem Kahana

A school bus collided with a truck north of Jerusalem on Thursday, killing at least eight Palestinian children. More than 30 other people were reported injured.

According to officials cited by the Jerusalem Post, the two vehicles crashed head-on in the rain on a steep road near Kikar Adam. 

The school bus overturned on impact and burst into flames, police said.

"There are between eight and 10 Palestinian children dead, aged between 10 and 16, and more than 30 injured who were taken to various hospitals in Ramallah and Mount Scopus," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told Agence France Presse.

According to Haaretz, the bus was taking children from the Shuafat refugee camp on a field trip to a park near Ramallah, in the West Bank. The truck had an Israeli license plate.

Emergency crews are at the scene and treating survivors, but fear they will find more bodies trapped in the wreckage, Arutz Sheva reported.

"This is a very serious accident. The place looks like a battlefield," one paramedic told Haaretz.

Israeli and Palestinian authorities are investigating what caused the crash. The truck driver, an Israeli-Arab, is receiving hospital treatment and is due to be questioned by police, the Post said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning, the BBC reported.

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