TEL AVIV (Jun. 8)
An Israel Defense Force medical team specializing in burn therapy was due to leave for Moscow late Thursday to assist in treating victims of the Trans-Siberian Railway disaster.
The offer of aid was extended to the Soviet Union on Wednesday morning by Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The Soviets responded within hours, saying they would welcome shipments of anti-burn medications. The reply was delivered to the Foreign Ministry by the Soviet consular representative in Tel Aviv, Georgi Martirosov.
The IDF team, consisting of five doctors and a nurse, is headed by Col. Shuki Shemer, deputy commander of the army medical corps.
They were to travel to Cyprus in an Israeli air force transport, where they would board a Russian plane for Moscow.
More than 400 people were killed and at least 600 injured, mainly burned, when a natural gas pipeline exploded in the Ural Mountains on June 3, just as two passenger trains were passing in a narrow gorge.