Walter Rodgers: Shards of glass, blood
(CNN) -- At least nine people died Sunday morning in northern Israel in what police said was a likely suicide bombing on a bus.
CNN's Walter Rodgers reported the following Sunday from the bombing scene near Safed:
RODGERS: The Israeli Bus 361 was ... traveling from Haifa to the west to Safed. ... Bus 361 stopped at [a] bus stop, and suddenly there was a horrendous explosion. The bus ripped apart, the entire right side was blown out, the roof taken off the top. ... There were puddles of blood. There's still dry blood there, shards of glass over there, more dry blood there.
The wounded, as I say, were laid in [a] ditch until a fire department truck could come and put out the bus -- the fire aboard the blazing bus -- and until the wounded could come, could be taken to the hospital.
At this point, we know of at least nine dead, two critically wounded. It took six hours to clean up the carnage. Again, chards of glass are still in the road. ... There are wisps of smoke. There's a 40-meter stretch from where you see that smoke, going back to the intersection at the Meron Junction here in the Galilee.
I spoke with Avraham Goldberg, one of the people responsible for cleaning up the carnage. ...
As an Israeli citizen, how do you feel about this latest terror attack?
GOLDBERG: As much as I feel about the previous attacks -- it's terrible, and it has to come to an end.
RODGERS: And how would you recommend that?
GOLDBERG: If you ask my opinion, my personal opinion, Mr. [Yasser] Arafat has to leave the area. It's only since he came to this area it all started.
RODGERS: The bomb exploded right in the middle of Bus 361. Those who survived the attack, and there were survivors, were in the front of the bus, closest to the driver, and in the back of the bus.
The greatest number of fatalities were right in the middle of the bus. We could see the bus, the right side of the bus was blown out, the roof was taken off, or much of it was ripped apart. Those who were aboard the bus, who survived the blast, were literally lifted through the top of the bus and then taken to the hospital.
The nearest hospital is [in] Safed. There are 49 wounded. The death toll, as I said, stands at nine, but it could climb higher because there are at least two critically wounded.
Getting the people to the hospital was no small task, in and of itself. The reason being, this is a remote section of the northern Galilee. There simply weren't enough ambulances at first.
Nonetheless, the cleanup is now nearly completed, but it will be some time before all the body parts can be removed from that terrible explosion aboard the bus. Izzedine al Qassam, the militant wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the explosion.
It's still not clear whether it was a bus bomb or a bomb planted aboard the bus, that is to say, a suicide bomber, or a bomb planted aboard the bus, although the Israeli police are speculating that it was indeed, a suicide bomber.
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