Aerial rescue (Archives)
Photo: Avihu Shapira
Clear marked area
Photo: Effi Sharir

Rescue gone awry: Man falls to death from medevac

Wadi Ara youth ventures into minefield in northern Israel, wounded by blast. Subsequent rescue attempt goes wrong as airlift fails, man falls from helicopter

An Israeli man sustained severe injuries Wednesday after venturing into a minefield located near the northern Israeli city of Beit She'an.


Massive Police and Magen David Adom emergency services were called to the scene, as well as an Air Force medevac meant to airlift 24-year old Alaa Agabriya to the nearest hospital.


Medical teams spent 90 minutes making their way through the minefield in order to administer first aid. Once they ascertained the victim had lost his foot to the blast and stabilized him, he was strapped to the medevac's gear and airlifted off the field.

The injured man arriving at Rambam (Photo: Shai Vaknin) 


According to reports, at this point the rescue took a dreadful turn, as the injured man somehow slipped from the straps, fell to the ground from a substantial altitude, and suffered critical injuries.


The Beit She'an Police launched an investigation as to how the man, a resident of Wadi Ara, came to enter the minefield in the first place, since the area is surrounded by a fence and clearly marked to ward people off.


An initial investigating revealed that Agabriya, of the Wadi Ara village of Mushreife, arrived with two of his friends on the premises with the intention of holding a picnic. The three ignored the warning signs posted near the field and ventured in. Several minutes later an explosion took place, injuring one.


Mass emergency forces were immediately dispatched to the area, but were unable to attend to the wounded man as he was several hundred yards inside the minefield.


According to medical personnel present at the scene, MDA paramedics were speaking to Agabriya while they were waiting for clearance to enter the area.


A police sapper was able to make his way through the minefield. The medevac arrived at the scene by this time, and Agabriya was strapped to the appropriate gear and airlifted away. Several minutes later, he fell.


According to police officials he was rushed to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa in critical condition and later died of his wounds.


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.09, 19:41
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