The Prison Service lost dozens of its members in the Carmel fire disaster on Thursday. Sources in the organization could hardly describe the atmosphere so shortly after learning of the tragedy. "Forty dead?! It can’t be…God help us," one prison guard who heard the scope of the tragedy told Ynet.
The victims were all cadets in a Prison Service officers course. "We opened a call center for the families and are getting many concerned calls. Most of the victims' families are not aware of the catastrophe that has hit them," one source said. Meanwhile, efforts to identify the bodies continue before the families are notified.
The prison guards' bus made its way north in order to offer aid and reinforcements for the evacuation and security of the Damon Prison in the Carmel. En route between Beit Oren and the prison, the bus was suddenly caught in the flames and within seconds, was consumed by the flames. Two police cars that were behind the bus also went up in flames injuring three police officers.
Commander Benny Avalia, normally, chief of the Zevulun police station was in charge of the disaster scene near the bus.
He was shocked by what he saw. "How can you speak of such a sight, the feelings are feelings of great pain and sorrow, my friends are among the injured and it is just an awful tragedy," he said.
Earlier, dozens of ambulances were called to Beit Oren where they prepared dozens of beds to evacuate the wounded.
A few of the busses remained at the gathering point, near the kibbutz stables, where a mobile first aid station was constructed and where dozens of medical assistants, doctors and Magen David Adom and rescue volunteers were standing by. The station was cleared since nearly all the passengers were dead at the scene.
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