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Tel Aviv terror attack victims speak

For first time since 2002, Tel Aviv rocked by bus bombing which injured 28; driver: 'I was sure it was a rocket hit'

Naama Cohen-Friedman
Published: 11.21.12, 17:00 / Israel News

Blast, smoke and anxiety – 28 people were injured in a terror attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday when a massive blast ripped through a bus near the Kirya army compound. As three of the injured went into surgery, others recounted the moments of horror as they witnessed the first explosion on a Tel Aviv bus since 2002.  

  

Reporter: Sivan Raviv. Video courtesy of jn1.tv

 

The bus driver, Nachum Hartzi, 53, told Ynet from his hospotal bed at the Sourasky Medical Center that at first he thought the explosion was the result of a rocket hit. "White smoke was everywhere," he said; "I will not be going back to work in the next few days."

 

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Elinor Lampel, 28, was in her car near the bus when the explosion occurred. At first, she wanted to rush to help the injured, but then began suffering from "increasing pain" and was evacuated to a hospital.

 

Though she reported she was feeling better, Lampel added: "I'm having chest pains and I'm feeling anxiety and stress."


אלינור למפל בבית החולים (צילום: דנה קופל)

Elinor Lampel (Photo: Dana Kopel)


פצוע מפונה מהזירה (צילום: AP)

Victim taken away from scene (Photo: AP)

 

Yehuda, who was on the bus when the bomb went off, told Ynet from his hospital bed: "The bus was about to pull into the station. Then it stopped and the explosion happened. I was sitting in the center of the bus and was simply flung. The bus started to fill with smoke and caught on fire. I just got up and got out; I didn’t see anyone suspicious. I'm not sure the bomb was on the bus; maybe someone threw something or stood near the bus. It's hard to say."


(צילום: רויטרס)

Scene of terror attack (Photo: Reuters)

 

Another woman who sustained injuries told Ynet that she was headed to a job interview when the bus exploded. "I was about to get off at the next stop because I realized that I had taken the wrong bus. All of a sudden I heard a huge blast.

 

"I must have blacked out for a few minutes and when I came through I got up and ran out of the bus. People surrounded me and took care of me. I was hurt in my left leg and my ears. I never thought it'd reach Tel Aviv, but I had a feeling I shouldn’t have gone on that bus."

 

Chen Peretz, who was also on the bus during the blast, said: "There was a massive blast and then there was gas smell everywhere. I got out and ran very quickly.

 

"The bus wasn’t packed. I was traveling from Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv. I feel fine. People who saw me crying helped and brought me here."

 

Three other people who sustained injuries went into surgery, emergency chief at the Sourasky Medical Center, Dr. Pinchas Halpern reported.

 

Gilad Morag contributed to this report

 

 

 

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