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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
'I saw bodies everywhere'
A rescuer examines bodies at the roadside after the bomb blast
Bodies were strewn across the road
Packed with commuters, the number 960 bus was heading into Jerusalem from Haifa during the busiest time of the day, but it never reached its destination.

You know I see (explosions) every evening in the news, but this is the first time I've witnessed something like this

Businessman Dan Jacobi
About 20 minutes into the journey, a Palestinian man - whom police reports claim boarded the bus at a Haifa station - detonated explosives strapped to his chest, blasting the vehicle to shreds and killing eight passengers.

Eli Levy, another motorist who rushed to the scene to help those wounded, was shocked by what he saw.

"I saw people blown out of the windows by the force of the explosion," he told Reuters news agency.

"I saw hands and legs and other body parts on the road. There was a lot of panic."

Scrambling to help

Motorists and rescue workers who scrambled to help those injured found bodies strewn across the road and in the bus seats, the wreckage splattered with the blood and flesh of victims.

Rescue workers examine the remains of the front of the bus
Debris from the bus was scattered over 200 yards

The BBC's James Reynolds says mobile phones were ringing on the road amid the debris.

"I saw bodies everywhere, I didn't know who was still alive or dead," policeman Shai Attias told the French news agency AFP.

"There was this woman soldier trapped inside the bus, she was crying for help and by the time rescue teams reached her, she was dead," he added, clearly shaken by what he had witnessed.

Debris was scattered over 200 yards, everything from grisly human remains to mundane, yet poignant items such as lunchboxes and wallets.

Orthodox Jewish rescue workers painstakingly picked through the wreckage, recovering all possible body parts for burial in accordance with Jewish religious tradition.


Businessman Dan Jacobi who was travelling behind the bus before it exploded, described the impotence many felt in trying to help despite such "huge destruction".

Rescue worker looks out from the remains of the bus
Grim task: A rescue worker collects human remains for burial

"Many people were injured, we stopped of course, because everybody stopped around, I went out from my car and tried to see if I could help," he told the BBC.

Now, as Israelis slowly come to terms with the second attack in two days, Mr Jacobi seemed to reflect the views of a people increasingly viewing the military option as its only effective weapon.

"You know I see (explosions) every evening in the news, but this is the first time I've witnessed something like this," he said.

"And it's about time to understand that against terrorism there is no way to handle it but by military action."

The BBC's Paul Wood reports from Jerusalem
"The blast ripped the bus apart"
Senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official Arie Mekel
"This situation cannot continue and it will not continue"
Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Zaid Abu Zayyad
"Israel has to understand this occupation must come to an end"
See also:

10 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel struck by suicide bomb
10 Apr 02 | Middle East
Suicide bomb fears haunt Israelis
02 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel's history of bomb blasts
09 Apr 02 | Middle East
Powell plans to meet Arafat
09 Apr 02 | Middle East
Aid held up outside Jenin
09 Apr 02 | Middle East
Analysis: Bush's Israeli dilemma
08 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israelis back Sharon
08 Apr 02 | Middle East
Vatican outrage over church siege
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