CNN BREAKING NEWS
Explosion Aboard Tel Aviv Bus
Aired September 19, 2002 - 06:07 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We finally have Jerrold Kessel on the phone. As I said before, there is a big explosion in downtown Tel Aviv in a shopping district aboard a bus.
Jerrold -- what can you tell us?
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many casualties, according to the Israeli police and people on the scene. Medical relief services are rushing to the scene in the heart of Tel Aviv.
One of our CNN sound tech engineers was down in the area, and he reported just about 5-10 minutes ago, phoned in and said he had seen a bus exploding right in front of him.
And that's confirmed now by the Israeli police. They believe it was a suicide bomber. That has, however, not been confirmed. But they are saying there are lots of casualties aboard an Israeli city bus in the heart of Tel Aviv in a busy shopping district right, really, in the center of the city.
We haven't got any exact details on the casualties, but I dare say this is right in the middle of the lunch hour, it's a busy time in Tel Aviv, and the guess would be that that bus, in a very busy district in the heart of Tel Aviv, would be right packed.
But we're waiting for details of that, but we do know it was a very powerful explosion just about 10 minutes ago in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Now, this is the second day in succession that -- if it is a Palestinian suicide bomber, who has got into Israel to set off his explosives -- it's the second time, second day in a row, that that has happened.
Yesterday, up in Galilee on a big trunk road, a suicide bomber was apparently planning to board an intercity bus, and he was intercepted by Israeli police who had got a tip-off that the man was standing at a bus stop with a bag, approached him, and as the policeman approached him, the man -- the suicide bomber -- set off his explosives, killing an Israeli policeman, wounding three other Israeli civilians in addition to himself.
There are now latest reports coming into CNN that there are dozens of casualties in this latest suicide -- what does seem to be a suicide attack, but anyway, one form or another of a terror attack in the heart of Tel Aviv.
KESSEL: Dozens of casualties -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Jerrold, when you say casualties, do you mean just injuries? Or are there any deaths reported?
KESSEL: Not yet. It's very early. It's literally10 minutes ago. But I dare say if this is in the realm of the previous such attacks -- and we did hear from one of our own sound engineers, who happened to be in that area -- that it was an enormous explosion. He said, literally, "A bus just blew up in front of my eyes." That was his words, as we've tried to make contact with him again. The mobile cell phones are not really working in that area at the moment. But there are reports of...
COSTELLO: But he's OK, right?
KESSEL: He's OK. He reported he was OK, right.
But clearly now, the Israeli media reporting at this moment -- and the medical relief services who have rushed to the scene, along with security forces -- reporting that there are dozens of people hurt. Whether fatalities, early to say, but if it was as powerful explosion as it was aboard a bus, probably yes.
COSTELLO: Yes. All right, Jerrold Kessel reporting live for us. We'll get back to you as soon as you get more information for us.
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