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Breaking News

Causalities Reported in Bus Explosion in Hadera, Israel

Aired November 22, 2000 - 10:43 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching breaking news out of the CNN Center here in Atlanta. We've just confirmed there has been an explosion in the Israeli town of Hadera. That's the northern part of Israel. It's an explosion that went off in a bus.

We're going to go live to our Mike Hanna who's standing by now with more.

Mike, can you tell us if there've been any confirmed fatalities?

MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Kyra, at this particular stage no confirmed fatalities arriving out of this incident. What we do know at this particular stage is that there was an explosion in the town of Hadera. This a coastal town between Tel Aviv and Haifa within northern Israel; that the explosion occurred and may have involved a bus.

Israeli radio reports say at this stage there have been at least 20 people wounded. However, the reports, too, that there is a large amount of smoke in the area which is inhibiting the work of rescuers, and also inhibiting an exact detail of how many people have been injured, and indeed whether there have been any fatalities at all at this particular point, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: OK, Mike, where exactly did this happen? Was it in a busy area? Was it in a neighborhood? an express area where there's traffic?

HANNA: Well, at this particular time of the evening that the explosion happened, it was some 15, 20 minutes ago at 25 past 5:00 local time. This is rush hour, peek rush-hour period. The explosion occurred on a main street through the town of Hadera, which is an important junction town between, as I said, Tel Aviv and Haifa. So there would have been a great deal of traffic on the road, and there also would have been a large amount of people in that particular vicinity -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Are rescue efforts under way right now, Mike, do you know of? Can you hear me, Mike? Can you tell me if there are any...

HANNA: Yes, Kyra, I can hear you.

PHILLIPS: ... rescue efforts? HANNA: We've just received some information as yet unconfirmed. But Israel radio reports that at least one person has been killed in the explosion. We've had reports from Israel radio as well that as many as 20 people have been injured, although these are still preliminary casualty figures.

No confirmation from the police of the fatality, but, as I said, Israel radio reports that at least one people killed at this particular juncture, at least 20 people wounded. The explosion on or near a bus in the northern city of Hadera during rush-hour traffic; once again, an exceedingly crowded highway, a main road through the city. We're receiving additional details as a talk here. Israel radio reports, too, that the cause of the blast was a car bomb. And, once again, repeating that figure as yet unconfirmed by police authorities that one person has been killed -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Mike, I think I'm receiving some of the same information that you are. This, of course, is unconfirmed. A police spokesperson saying that they are calling this a terrorist attack. Of course, we haven't confirmed this yet, but I'm just giving this information to you. Maybe you can check it out also. The Israel radio also reported that the scene, that the explosion could be heard throughout the town and at least one woman they are saying was definitely wounded and possibly one dead. And they're talking about black smoke filling the skies and it's hampering rescue effort right now. Are you hearing anything else as I've been talking?

HANNA: Well, no, that's exactly what we're hearing at this particular point in time, that the early reports did indicate that the explosion was a very, very loud one, a large one, according to eyewitnesses in the particular area. There was a large plume of smoke arising from the site of the blast. Israel radio reporting that it was a car bomb at this particular point. However, no confirmation of this, no formal confirmation as yet as to the number of fatalities, although, once again, Israel radio report says that one person has been killed, at least 20 people wounded, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, real quickly, Mike, before I let you go, we don't know if it was a bus or a car -- we're getting conflicting reports -- correct?

HANNA: Well, the original report, Kyra, was that it was an explosion that involved a bus. The original eyewitness reports from the scene spoke of a bus that appeared to have been broken in two. Initial reports were that the explosion was aboard the bus. What we are now hearing is that it was possibility in a car which could have been close to the bus as it was passing by. But this is speculation at this particular point. We have now confirmation that the bomb was in a car, it was not on board the bus.

So this is what we know at this particular point, that in the city of Hadera, a loud explosion in a car in a major street running through the city, that a bus, according to eyewitness reports, was struck by the force of the explosion, that at least 20 people have been injured and at least one person dead at this point. Waiting to receive more details, Kyra. PHILLIPS: And when you do get those details, we'll check in again with you, Mike Hanna, from Jerusalem. Thank you.

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