A bus has exploded in Jerusalem, leaving around 15 casualties, Israeli media report, citing emergency medical services.
The massive explosion occurred in Hebron Way, west Jerusalem, with police citing “a militant attack” as the probable cause of the blast.
Multiple social media posts show smoke coming out of the burned-out bus, which is standing in the middle of the road.
Initial reports indicated there were 20 casualties. Now Haaretz and Jerusalem Post report 15 people were injured in the blast, with two injured “seriously,” one “moderately,” and five “lightly.” The newspapers cite sources in the Magen David Adom emergency service.
Some of the injured were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Others were taken to Hadassah Hospital nearby.
פיגוע בי-ם: פיצוץ באוטובוס ריק, אוטובוס לידו גם עלה באש שם נפצעו 2 קשה 3 בינוני 5 קל.
צילום מדברים תקשורת pic.twitter.com/NBOpLx3Zu6
— אלי שלזינגר (@EliShlezinger) April 18, 2016
The bus was reportedly not carrying any passengers when it exploded, an Israel Police spokesperson said, as cited in the media. The casualties were apparently due to being close to the blast.
“When I arrived at the scene I saw two buses going up in flames and about 10 causalities among them, one who was mortally wounded and another in serious condition,” Mickey Cohen, head of the Jerusalem emergency response service, told Haaretz.
Jerusalem district police say the bus could have been blown up by an explosive device or targeted by a suicide bomber who detonated the device inside the bus, according to news outlet Arutz Sheva.
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) April 18, 2016
According to the police, the bus departed from the southern part of the city and arrived at Moshe Baram Street, when apparently an explosion was heard and the bus caught fire.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) April 18, 2016