Israel - 3 Officers Killed in Carmel Fire Could Have Escaped
New details from the investigation into the deadly Carmel disaster have revealed that the three senior police officers who died during the woodland inferno could have escaped in other vehicles, but stayed to try and rescue the Prison Service cadets aboard the burning bus.
The cadets were on their way to evacuate prisoners from the Damon Prison when their bus caught fire as it was travelling along Beit Oren Road. According to the findings, obtained by Ynet on Wednesday, 180 out of 550 prisoners were still inside Damon Prison when the bus was making its way to help with the evacuation process.
The blaze, which claimed the lives of 43 people, is still being investigated by police. The state comptroller is expected to publish the findings of his own investigation into the failures that led to the disaster in about four months.
According to the investigation, the police officers who perished in the fire - Haifa District Police chief Ahuva Tomer, Asst.-Cmdr. Lior Boker and Dep.-Cmdr. Itzik Melina - had an opportunity to escape the flames, but chose to stay and try to rescue the Prison Service cadets who were trapped in the burning bus.
Earlier Wednesday, officials from the State Comptroller's Office toured communities which were damaged in the fire.
The comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, is also expected to check who instructed the bus to enter the site of the fire and whether the bus disaster could have been prevented. He will also examine the evacuation of the area's residents and the lack of firefighting planes.