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article imageBomb explodes on bus near Tel Aviv, alert passenger saves lives

By Eric Morales     Dec 22, 2013 in World
Bat Yam - An explosive device left on board a bus in Israel could have caused significant casualties in the latest attack since Israel led a war in Gaza.
An alert passenger on bus No. 240 quite possibly saved dozens of lives after alerting an Israeli bus driver to the presence of a suspicious package.
The passenger noticed a black bag as the Dan company bus made its way through the city of Bat Yam on the Mediterranean coast. The driver pulled the bus over to the side of the road and told passengers to get off the bus at the corner of Katzenelson and Mitzva Sinai streets.
"One of the passengers told me that there is a suspicious bag on the bus," bus driver Michael Yuger told Haaretz recounting the moments leading up to the blast, "I asked, 'Whose bag?' and was told 'No one's.' I arrived at the bus stop and got the passengers to disembark. Most of the passengers went on to catch other buses to get where they needed to go, and I stayed by my bus with another two people. Then a police car arrived and cleared people from the area. Ten minutes later, the bus exploded."
Yuger told Haaretz that twelve people were on board the bus at the time, all of them followed instructions when told to leave, and no one who got on the bus appeared to be suspicious.
One passenger, David Papo took time to examine the bag before he got off the bus.
"I opened it and saw something which looked like a pressure cooker. After I took a closer look, I saw a red wire coming out of it and I immediately understood what it was." Papo then made his way off bus No. 240.
It is not clear who is responsible for planting the explosive however Shin Bet and Israeli Police suspect that Palestinian jihadists are responsible, however no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility.
Ayalon District Police Commander Nathan Bozna said that Israeli police received a call into the 100 emergency line at 2:20 PM informing them of the presence of a suspicious package on board a bus.
"A Dan bus driver that left B'nei B'rak for Bat Yam stopped on Mivtza Sinai Street after a suspicious bag was discovered in the back of the bus. The suspicion grew and the bus driver acted properly and evacuated the bus," Bozna said.
Israeli police are now urging Israelis to remain vigilant while riding buses, and to alert them of any suspicious behavior.
"The incident in Bat Yam illustrates the fact that the threat of terrorism is lurking in the background, especially these days, when there are attempts to advance the peace talks," Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said.
More about Israel, Tel aviv, bus bombing, Occupied Palestine,, Gaza strip
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