David Amuyal in hospital - 'not a hero'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Scene of Jerusalem terror attack
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Bus after bomb blast
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Terror attack 'miracle': I screamed get out! Suspicious object!

Jerusalem terror attack could have been much worse if not for David Amuyal, who noticed suspicious bag; but he insists: 'I'm not a hero. I didn't manage to get everyone away, I felt death'

Three yeshiva boys were sitting around the bag, I screamed "Get out of here! That's a suspicious bag!" This was how David Amuyal described the scene of Wednesday's bombing from his hospital bed. Amuyal, whose call to the police just seconds before the blast most likely saved lives, is suffering from a fractured pelvis, steel pellets have penetrated his body and shrapnel is deeply embedded in his left hand and leg.


Other than Amuyal, 11 people wounded in yesterday's terror attack are still hospitalized, two in serious condition. A 56-year-old British tourist was killed in the terror attack and dozens were injured.


Amuyal's brother in law, Shimshon Moshe, who owns the kiosk hit in the attack, arrived at the scene to examine the damage and start the cleanup. "Everything is like Sodom and Gomorrah here, I cleaned and swept the mess away and we're over it," he said.


"I got there at 12 pm and things were business as usual. As I was working a haredi guy came into the kiosk and told me 'there's a bag outside'. People constantly come in here telling me 'there's a suspicious case or bag over there', I'm used to it, I didn't get excited, I went outside and saw a black duffel bag on a rock near the phone booth."


"There were three young yeshiva boys sitting around it, around 14-15 years old," Amuyal added, reconstructing Wednesday's events. "I looked at the bag and had a very strong bad feeling about it. It was new, very new, with a zipper and it seemed suspicious. At that very moment I told them 'move quickly, it's a suspicious object, evacuate the area immediately'."


Body caught fire

Amuyal then took out his cellular phone and called the police to report the suspicious bag. "As I was on the phone I felt a huge blast that threw me back. I was about a meter and a half (4.9 feet) away from the device, I flew 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) back and my body caught fire. I tried to put out the fire with my hands; I got up, walked around 15 meters away from the scene and sat on a railing nearby."


"I couldn't roll on the floor to put out the fire, I saw black and felt the shrapnel, at first my legs burned and when I looked down I saw that my stomach was completely open." Amuyal said that it took time before he felt the pain that gripped his entire body: "Some passersby came very quickly and started to administer first aid, the ambulances and security forces were right behind them."


Amuyal with a pellet removed from his body (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Amuyal claims that it was a miracle that he was alive and that the blast didn't claim more lives, he refuses to take the credit for saving the lives of those near the bomb. "I'm not a hero. I tried, I did as much as I could but I didn't manage to get everyone away. If not for the miracle, I would be on the other side too. I felt death, I could have escaped but I didn't."


He expressed anger at the way the authorities treated him and his family, the kiosk owners. "This is a place that serves the public; everyone has nothing but praise for it. Yet the municipality, instead of arranging for us to have protection, removed half a meter from our property. We used to have a rain cover, they took that off too.


"They should help a little, have a heart. The government doesn't help either, does nothing. They all talk before the elections; they want you then, but after the elections – nothing. The south is under fire and the residents remain unprotected."


While Amuyal is recovering from his injuries, his brother in law Shimshon is back in the kiosk. He told Ynet: "The important thing is that my brother-in -law David get well swiftly." Shimshon, who was standing in the same spot David was in yesterday during a 1994 terror attack that destroyed his kiosk, was saved yesterday because he had just left – leaving David in charge.


Omri Ephraim contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 03.24.11, 13:50
 new comment
This will delete your current comment