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Dozens hurt as school bus overturns near Beit Shemesh

Paramedics treat two children with serious injuries; police search for reason behind crash

Dozens of school-age children were hurt when a bus rolled over on Route 38 near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Magen David Adom rescue service, two of the children were seriously harmed, one was moderately hurt and the remainder of the group, around 30 children ages 8-12, were lightly injured.

The injured were brought to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals in Jerusalem, MDA said.

In a statement, MDA paramedics said they arrived quickly at the scene and found that around 15 of the children aboard the flipped-over bus had already exited and appeared to be unharmed. First responders worked to evacuate everyone on board, including two young passengers found with serious injuries, they said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident aboard the bus carrying children from the religious Ariel youth group back from an activity. Most schools serving the country’s Hebrew-speaking population are on break for the fall holidays.

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Police said they are investigating the incident, noting that the bus was traveling westbound on Route 395 when it swerved to the right for an unknown reason as it approached Route 38, sending it rolling over on the side of the Kisalon traffic circle near the junction.

The police statement indicated that no other vehicles were involved in the crash.

The Ynet news site reported that police are checking if an issue with the brakes caused the driver to lose control.

Earlier this year, a bus carrying dozens of schoolchildren collided with a truck in central Israel, injuring dozens, including one seriously. In 2021, five people were killed when a bus carrying children was involved in a multi-vehicle collision in northern Israel. The driver of the bus, who was killed in the incident, was later implicated in dangerous driving behavior ahead of the crash.