Two Israelis sustained serious injuries while more than two dozen others were slightly hurt after a bus rolled over at the Eshtaol intersection on Highway 38 near Beit Shemesh on Wednesday afternoon, medical officials announced.
“We arrived at the scene quickly and saw that the bus was turned on its side in a wadi near the road,” said first responders with the Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency medical service, adding that the passengers, who were between the ages of 8 and 12, as well as the driver, left the bus fully conscious.
“We performed an initial triage, and two of the children suffered severe injuries. One of them had a multi-system injury, and the other had an abdominal injury. We gave them life-saving treatment and quickly evacuated them to the hospital in serious condition,” medics reported.
In addition to the two seriously injured, another child was listed as being in moderate condition. Around 30 more people suffered minor bruises, per MDA.
Local media said a trauma helicopter and crane were dispatched to the scene.
The injured were transported to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah-Ein Kerem medical centers in Jerusalem, where one of the wounded was sedated and ventilated.
According to the Beit Shemesh Municipality, the bus was carrying members of the Ariel religious Zionist youth movement. Municipal representatives were sent to the hospitals to support the families of the injured, Ynet reported.
It was not immediately clear what caused the bus to veer to the side of the road and roll over. Israel Police blocked the road for some time as traffic accident officers launched an investigation into the incident.
In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Religious Zionist Party lawmaker Moshe Solomon called on his followers to read a chapter of Psalms for the children’s recovery.
“Difficult news on the eve of the [Sukkot] holiday about a serious accident involving the children of the Ariel youth movement, who were injured as they returned from a trip,” wrote Solomon.