An Israel Defense Forces tank driver was killed early Saturday and three others were injured, two seriously, when one of the tank’s shells ignited inside the vehicle near the Egyptian border.
The soldier was identified as Eliyahu Drori, a 20-year-old private from the community of Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem.
He apparently died of smoke inhalation or from inhaling gas from the tank’s fire-extinguishing system. The three injured soldiers either inhaled the gas or suffered burns and were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
According to preliminary findings, before the accident, the army received information about a smuggling attempt on the Egyptian border. The attempt was foiled but there were concerns that the smugglers could carry out a terrorist attack at another spot on the border.
The tank was sent to an area near a stream and, for reasons still unclear, proceeded down an embankment and began to roll downhill, at which point the tank shell ignited.