As we near the end of 2010, Israel has much sadness to bear. Terror attacks on public roads that left four dead--including a nine months pregnant woman, an horrific forest fire that had taken the lives of forty-four people--many of them young men and women just starting their lives. On Sunday another fire broke out near Maoz close to Mevesseret Zion but is under control, and today a train traveling between Haifa and Tel Aviv caught fire.
According to Arutz 7, the train was traveling from north to south on the Haifa-Tel Aviv tracks when it caught fire in the rear engine as they neared Shefayim, opposite the Ronit Farm. The fire spread to passenger cars causing passengers to shout for the driver to stop the train.
When the train stopped the emergency system that was supposed to throw open the train's doors failed to operate, trapping the passengers. The windows in the cars are supposed to be broken in case of an emergency, but the emergency hammers for breaking them were all gone.
Thankfully there was a fast-thinking Border Guard policeman on board who quickly loaded his weapon and fired at the windows to break them and allow people to get out.
The rear engine car had caught fire, possibly due to an electrical malfunction. At least four cars on the passenger train were in flames, trapping passengers inside--injuring at least seventy-six people. Five people were evacuated in moderate condition and the rest are described a being lightly hurt suffering from smoke inhalation and minor cuts from trying to exit the windows.