Israeli Principal Killed in Punjab Car Crash

An Israeli who was touring India with her family was killed Friday afternoon in a car accident in the northern state of Punjab.

Dina Hoshea, 49, of Carmiel, was traveling with her husband and two children, both in their 20s, in a car driven by a local man, which flipped over for reasons as yet unknown. Hoshea's husband and children were taken to a local hospital.

Hoshea was principal of Hashahar, a school in Carmiel for children with learning disabilities. She and her husband, together with their son, flew to India on Thursday to meet up with the elder daughter, who has been traveling in India since October.

Irit Shneor, Israeli consul in New Delhi, spoke to the husband after the accident but he was in shock and unable to provide details about what happened. She arrived at the hospital yesterday morning and is coordinating the transfer of Hoshea's body for burial in Israel with local authorities.

Irit Ron, a guidance counselor at Hashahar, said that she and the faculty at the school were shocked by news of Hoshea's sudden death. Ron said Hoshea was a dedicated principal and an excellent educator who loved her work and was beloved by the entire school.

Meanwhile, a search-and-rescue operation was launched on Friday afternoon for an Israeli man touring Laos whose kayak overturned on the Mekong River. Avner Bardugo, 25, of Ramat Yishai, was with his Israeli traveling companion, who was recovered after their kayak hit a rock and capsized.

Bardugo is a captain in the Israel Air Force. He went on leave for the trip, which began in early July and was scheduled to end six weeks later.

"The friend called the family, which immediately set up a war room where the search efforts are being coordinated," Iris Beck, a cousin of Bardugo's, related yesterday.

The foreign minister, Bardugo's military unit - Unit 669 - and his travel insurance company were briefed on the situation. The first search team set out for Laos Friday afternoon, and a second team was dispatched yesterday.