While firefighters continue to fight the flames in the Carmel thousands of people attended the funerals of some of the Prison Service cadets who
were killed Thursday after a bus they were riding caught fire. "This Hanukkah light and joy have been replaced with darkness and doom," commander of the Neve Tirtza Prison Ronit Matzliach said.
Hundreds of people accompanied Oshrat Pinto in the Safed cemetery as she was laid to rest. Pinto served as an intelligence NCO at the Neve Tirtza jail before enrolling in the cadet course. Her father Yitzhak pleaded God: "If you decided to take her, why in such a horrible fire? Why did you give her to me in an empty coffin?"
Matzliah described Pinto as a true hero who was motivated to contribute to the state. Safed Mayor Ilan Shohat said that just a day prior to the disaster Oshrat handed out donuts to children at a hostel.
Sivan, the widow of Maor Ganon sang the song "O Captain! My Captain" which she planned to sing to her husband when he finished the course. "I am proud of you and love," she cried. "Look at your friends, your family. They're all here, saluting you." Maor's brother Alon said: "My hero, I so wanted to attend your graduation ceremony, to salute you. I salute you here." Ganon left a wife and three-year-old daughter.
In the village of Gett hundreds paid their respects to Shadi Bibar. "Shadi died a hero's death," a Prison Service representative said. "You leave us today but your spirit will remain with us. We will always remember your smile, motivation and professionalism," she added.
Maher, his relative said that Shadi was a top student who always helped his famile. His two-year-old daughter broke into tears when her father didn't return home.
Cadet Siyum Zagai, resident of Netivot left a wife and three children. His friends from the Prison Service could not contain their tears. "My dear brother, you were a hero," his brother said. "You went to many similar places and returned safely, but now you have not returned."
Zagai's brother said that Siyum deliberated whether to enroll in the course considering the distance from his family but was talked into going by his family and friends.
In Kiryat Gat, hundreds accompanied Roee Biton as he was laid to rest. "Where were you God?" his family cried. "The fire consumed them. God was very evil that moment, why didn't you help them? They came to save lives."
Kiryat Gat Mayor Moshe Havlin said: "The entire people of Israel will mourn the fire which burned the people. Kiryat Gat suffered two losses. We do not understand the lord's ways, but these saints who went to save others and died are super saints, no one can stand beside them."
Hagai Einav, Hassan Shaalan, Goel Beno, Yaron Sasson, Shmulik Hadad and Tova Dadon contributed to this report