Disaster averted as bomb explodes on bus near Tel Aviv moments after passengers evacuated.

The bus in Bat Yam after a bomb on board exploded Sunday. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/Times of Israel)

The bus in Bat Yam after a bomb on board exploded Sunday. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/Times of Israel)

“A bomb exploded on a bus in Bat Yam on Sunday afternoon, but nobody was injured because an alert passenger had spotted the device and the bus driver had ordered the vehicle evacuated,” reported the Times of Israel. “A police sapper was trying to defuse the bomb when it exploded. He was taken to the hospital for an examination, but was found not to be injured and was quickly released….”

“Police said that early indications pointed to an apparent terror attack,” the Times reported. “They urged the public to be on the alert for additional bombing attempts. Police were searching for the individual who planted the bomb and possible accomplices. The explosion badly damaged the Dan No. 240 bus, which was stopped at the time on the corners of Mivtza Sinai and Katznelson streets in the coastal city, which borders Tel Aviv on the south. All the windows were either blown out or shattered, and seats were mangled. The last passengers were evacuated three minutes before the device exploded, Channel 2 news reported….”

More excerpts:

  • President Shimon Peres later phoned and thanked the bus driver and the passenger who discovered the explosive, saying their actions saved lives.
  • “The nation owes you a debt of gratitude and I would like to personally congratulate you for this act of bravery,” Peres told bus driver Yoger.
  • Initial reports said the bomb contained some 5 kilograms of explosives — enough to cause immense devastation. The bomb that blew up a bus at Burgas airport in Bulgaria in 2012, killing five Israelis and a local driver, by way of comparison, contained 3 kilograms of explosives.
  • “At this point in time we are under the impression that the incident was nationalistically motivated. I urge the public to be aware and report any suspicious activity to the police,” Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said.

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