Two planes carrying medical personnel and relatives of the two dozen Russian tourists killed in a bus crash near Eilat on Tuesday were due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday morning. The relatives will help identify the bodies of the tourists.
At least 24 Russian visitors were killed and dozens more injured on Tuesday afternoon when the bus in which they were traveling swerved off a narrow desert road near Eilat and plunged into a ravine.
The bodies of the victims will be flown to Russia, as will the injured passengers who wish to receive medical treatment at home.
Foreign Ministry officials and the Russia deputy consul were in Eilat yesterday to help those injured in the crash. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni promised Valentina Matviyenko - the governor of St. Petersburg, where most of the casualties are from - that Israel would provide all the assistance it could in identifying victims and transporting their bodies back to Russia.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is on a state visit to Britain, expressed sorrow and sent his condolences to the families. "This accident requires us to rethink the driving culture in Israel," he said.
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