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Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Terror at the Pascha disco
Israeli medics evacuate a wounded victim from the beachfront in Tel Aviv
Metal shards were deeply imbedded in many of the victims
Israel's worst bomb attack for five years was as unexpected as it was deadly.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, a Palestinian suicide bomber walked into the crowd of young people waiting to get into the Pascha nightclub and detonated an explosive device packed with bullets, nails and metal pieces.

The Tel Aviv nightspot, inside a former aquarium in a line of other bars, restaurants and hotels, was packed with Israelis enjoying the start of their Sabbath weekend.

After two or three seconds I saw people lying on the floor, some had no legs, no arms."

Alex Brodsky, 19
The blast was so powerful that human remains were found on vehicles in a car park nearby.

Nineteen-year-old Alex Brodsky told army radio: "We were waiting at the entrance to the discotheque and then we heard a huge explosion. After two or three seconds I saw people lying on the floor, some had no legs, no arms."

Torn to pieces

Another witness, Roni, said: "I saw a ball of fire in the centre of the people and then heard an explosion. Something flew in the air and people were running everywhere."

It was the most horrific sight I've ever seen

Fireman Moshe Ohana

The bomber was among the dead.

One distressed witness told Israeli television: "I saw a young woman torn to pieces in front of my eyes."

Thirty ambulances attended the scene of the blast.
Medics clearing up at the Tel Aviv beachfront
Crews had to collect remains from a wide area
Black plastic bags and blankets covered bodies, one lying under a car, as the crews gave first aid to more than 80 people. Their rubber gloves, covered with blood, and empty plasma bags littered the ground.

"It was terrible, young boys and girls lying on top of each other and screaming for help," Moshe Ohana, a fireman, told army radio. "I found some teenagers injured and some of them were dead.

"It was the most horrific sight I've ever seen," he said.

Helicopters hovered overhead.

Medics stretcher a survivor to hospital
While the injured were dealt with police ensured the other clubs were evacuated

Police rushed along the seaside promenade, closing down other nightclubs for fear more bombers were about to carry out attacks.

Doctors in Tel Aviv area hospitals said many of the dead and those who were badly wounded were hit by metal shrapnel packed in the powerful bomb.

Ladies night

The nightclub was frequented by teenagers from Russian immigrant families. It was also a ladies night and many of the people standing outside the discotheque were female, witnesses said.

Families of the dead, their faces white with shock, streamed into the Abu Kabir morgue, only a few kilometres away from the blast scene, to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

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See also:

01 Jun 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Sharon under pressure
25 May 01 | Middle East
Blasts test Israel's 'ceasefire'
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Israel's history of bomb blasts
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Bomb stokes Mid-East tension
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