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20 killed in bus accident in S Israel
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08:53, December 17, 2008

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An Israeli bus filled with tourists plunged into a dry river valley on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 20 people and injuring some 30, local news service Ynet reported on its website.

The private bus, carrying tourists headed to the Ovda Airport in southern Israel, plunged into the valley about 3 km north of the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat, said the report, adding that several people are said to be in serious condition.

The Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency organization declared the bus accident a mass casualty event. Twenty ambulances and three helicopters were dispatched to the area.

At around 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), Israeli police and MDA received a report on a bus which had flipped over north of Eilat, in an area housing multiple Israel Defense Forces bases, said Ynet.

The tourists travelling in the bus were said to be making their way to the airport adjacent to the Ovda Air Force base.

The bus is believed to have flipped over several times and plunged down a 15-meter chasm, added the report.


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