Train smashes into minibus in Israel, killing pregnant woman, 2 children and 4 others

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Train crashes into minibus in Israel, kills 7

JERUSALEM — Seven members of one family, including a pregnant woman and two children, were killed when the minibus they were traveling in ignored traffic signals and crossed the tracks right into the path of a speeding train, rescue services said.

No one on the train was hurt. The driver of the minibus was lightly injured and one other passenger was injured when the vehicle was hurled 20 yards from the tracks, rescue services said.

Train driver Giora Weiss told Israeli media he saw the minibus driver talking to passengers sitting behind him before the collision Thursday evening near the town of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel.

“I saw the eyes of one of the passengers and it was horrible,” he told reporters.

He said he hit the emergency brakes but it was too late. It was not immediately clear how fast the train was going at the time of the crash or how many passengers were on board.

“When the driver realized he was in danger, he froze instead of driving forward to move the vehicle out of the way,” he said.

A spokesman for Israel Railways said that an initial investigation showed the minibus smashed through a barrier at a stop sign next to the track.

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