At least eight Palestinian children from east Jerusalem were killed on Thursday when their school bus was hit by a truck on a road in the West Bank, Israeli police said.
“There are between eight and 10 Palestinian children dead, aged between 10 and 16, and more than 30 injured who were taken to various hospitals in Ramallah and Mt Scopus,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.
Medical officials at the main hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah said some of the victims were “of kindergarten age” and that many of the bodies had been badly burned.
Family members of some of the injured children told AFP the bus passengers were from a Palestinian school in Anata in east Jerusalem and were going on an outing to Ramallah.
They also said the truck driver was a Palestinian from the eastern sector of the city.
A spokesman for Israel’s emergency services put the injury toll at closer to 40, and said the wounded had been taken to hospitals in both Israel and the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The accident occurred at busy junction just north of Jerusalem, with the bus flipping over on impact and bursting into flames, with all of the dead and most of the injured bus passengers, police said.
The truck driver, whom they confirmed was an Arab, was also injured in the impact.
“A horrific traffic accident took place north of Jerusalem, apparently there was a crash between and Israeli lorry and a Palestinian bus which had children on it. As a result, the bus flipped over and burst into flames,” an earlier police statement said.