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46 U.s., Canadian Volunteers Hurt in Weekend Bus Accident


Forty-six American and Canadian volunteers, most of whom are senior citizens, were injured over the weekend when their tour bus missed a curve and overturned.

The volunteers, in Israel on a three-month program sponsored by B’nai B’rith, were on their way to Beit Guvrin, near Kiryat Gat.

Most of the passengers were released from nearby Barzilai and Kaplan hospitals.

But 13 were admitted to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon for the treatment of broken bones and other injuries.

Group leader Saidie Symon, 59, who was bruised in Sunday’s accident, said, “Before we knew what was happening we were in a terrible accident. Thank God, all 46 people, including the driver, got out alive, and none of the injuries is life threatening.”

Symon, who said the accident occurred on her birthday, added, “Despite the injuries, though, the spirit of the people has been tremendous. Their courage has given me the strength to carry on, and we will try to restart the program tomorrow.”

The volunteers come to Israel for three months to work with municipalities, social welfare institutions and hospitals.

“Many of our volunteers come year after year and play a key role in Israel’s voluntary sphere,” said Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem.

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