Israel Detains Driver in Crash

APIsraeli ambulances with the coffins of 24 Russians killed in a bus crash lining up next to a Russian cargo plane at an airport near Tel Aviv on Thursday.
As a Russian jet flew home the 24 victims of an Israeli bus crash, Israeli police on Thursday placed the driver of the bus under house arrest on suspicion of reckless driving.

The driver, Edward Gelfond, was detained for questioning after he was released from a hospital with minor injuries sustained when the bus overturned and rolled into a ravine near the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Tuesday. Gelfond later was placed under house arrest, The Jerusalem Post reported on its web site.


Ariel Schalit / AP
Israeli workers loading coffins onto a Russian cargo plane at the airport.
Investigators were examining whether the accident was triggered by an argument between Gelfond and a fellow driver, and they want to question Gelfond to determine the speed at which he was traveling at the time of the crash, the Post said. Israel's transportation minister and traffic police chief said Wednesday that Gelfond lost his temper after arguing with the other driver. Gelfond told police that he lost control of the bus when a guidebook fell in his lap, the report said.

At the international airport near Tel Aviv, coffins draped in Russian flags were loaded from a convoy of ambulances into a cargo plane.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said about 15 people remained in Israeli hospitals. Fifty-one people were on the bus.

(MT, AP)