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Relieved but Traumatized, Blast Survivors Arrive Back in Israel

Two 19-year-olds from Carmiel injured in the Burgas blast were hospitalized in Haifa's Rambam Medical Center yesterday.

Two 19-year-olds from Carmiel injured in the Burgas blast were hospitalized in Haifa's Rambam Medical Center yesterday, one with moderate burns and flying-glass injuries and the other slightly injured from flying glass.

Olga Bonchukov, the aunt of one of the two victims, Vladi Batlin, said the two were on a pre-army trip. Bonchukov, a nurse at the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, said a friend got in touch with the family and said Batlin was alright, but in hospital. According to the friend, Bonchukov said, "they hadn't gotten on the bus yet when the explosion came; they were standing next to it."

Rambam Medical Center director Prof. Rafael Beyar said Batlin would be hospitalized in intensive care with a moderate injury from a shard that penetrated the area near his stomach. Beyar said Batlin and his friend "arrived bandaged and had received reasonable care in Bulgaria."

Meanwhile, seven residents of the Lower Galilee who were lightly injured were hospitalized at Haemek Hospital in Afula. Among them are two married couples: Adam, 55, and Yael Ben-Sheetrit, 52, from Ramat Yishai and Gadi, 60, and Raymonde Siboni, 54, from Beit Shean. Raymonde's sisters, Hannah Levy, 62, and Pnina Moshe, 59, of Beit Shean were also in the hospital, along with Roman Shuster, 50, from Upper Nazareth.

Gadi Siboni, who broke his leg jumping from the bus in Burgas, survived a mortal injury in a terror attack in the local Likud headquarters in Beit Shean 10 years ago.

Siboni said: "They called us to the bus to take us to the hotel, I got on and took my seat. My wife and her sisters stayed outside to smoke. Suddenly I heard an explosion outside the bus and everything was burning ... Somebody shouted that it was a terror attack and I decided it was either stay inside or jump out and break my legs."

Ben-Sheetrit, who was in the bus with his wife when the blast occured, said: "I went to the back door but it was blocked, so I went to the front door and kicked it open. I went back to get my wife and then our friend."