Former director and guide at pre-army academy charged with negligent homicide in deaths of 10 teens


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The former director of a pre-army academy in Tel Aviv and one of its guides were charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of 10 teenagers in a flash flood in the Negev Desert.

Nine girls and one boy were killed at Nahal Tsafit, south of the Dead Sea, when a flash flood rushed through the riverbed following unusually heavy rainfall on April 26, 2018. Fifteen other hikers were rescued. The hikers were 17- and 18-year-olds on a bonding trip ahead of entering the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in September 2018.

Bnei Zion’s former director Yuval Kahan and former counselor Aviv Bardichev were charged in Beersheba District Court on Monday with 10 counts each of negligent homicide. They could face up to 12 years per count in prison, The Times of Israel reported.

The two received warnings about the risk of flash floods before and during the trip. Bardichev changed the route after the hike when a different streambed was closed over flooding.

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