Video of Carmel Fire Victims' Final Moments Released

Members of prison service cadets killed in the Carmel Fire in December request that posthumous awards not be distributed until after the investigation of the disaster, in which 44 people died, is completed.

The families of the prison service cadets who were killed in last December's Carmel fire when their bus was engulfed in the flames asked yesterday for the state to delay giving out posthumous commendations for police killed at the scene, releasing a video of the victim's final moments to bolster their case.

The families want the awards to wait until after the investigation of the disaster, in which 44 people died, is completed.

Bus Carmel Fire
Channel 2

Relatives of the victims attended a session of the Knesset's Interior and Environment Committee yesterday and expressed criticism of the police over the decision to issue the commendations before State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss completes his probe into police conduct in the disaster.

Members of the Knesset committee also called on Police Commissioner David Cohen to reconsider the decision to issue the posthumous citations.

Shlomo Alkalai, whose brother Rafi was killed in the Carmel fire, showed members of the committee a video clip that had never before been publicized documenting the final moments of the prison service staff on the bus.

The footage was taken by a prison staff member who survived the blaze. The video shows the flames outside the bus windows and has the anguished voices of the bus passengers.

In response to the showing of the video clip, the Israel Police said they had refrained from disclosing investigative materials at the request of the families and in order to allow the investigators to complete their work.

A police representative, Maj. Gen. Amihai Shai, told the committee yesterday that several investigations of the fire have been carried out and the process involved in deciding to confer the commendations was proper.