Pipe Bomb in Garbage Bag Blows Up in Worker's Hand

A small pipe bomb hidden in a garbage bag exploded as a Jerusalem sanitation worker was holding it yesterday, and as of press time surgeons were working to keep him from losing a finger.

Police said the bomb was intended for use by terrorists.

bomb - Tomer Appelbaum - March 7 2011
Tomer Appelbaum

The sanitation worker, a 17-year-old resident of Jabal Mukkaber, was listed in moderate condition at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

The explosion took place near the entrance to Har Homa, as the man lifted the bag from a traffic island on Hebron Road in order to toss it into a nearby dumpster.

He was treated on the scene by a passing paramedic, Raphael Herbst.

"I was driving by in the morning with my wife and son to take him to preschool," said Herbst. "Suddenly I saw somebody lying down, wounded, on the traffic island. I got out with the equipment I keep in the car. I stopped the bleeding and we bandaged him. He was fully conscious and screaming that he was in pain.

Before the sanitation worker was taken to the hospital, a police sapper checked him to make sure he was not planning a terror attack and did not have other explosives on him.

Additional details about the police investigation are under gag order.

This is the second work-related accident to befall Jerusalem sanitation workers in the last few days.

On Thursday a 38-year-old sanitation worker from East Jerusalem was killed when a garbage bin fell on him and hit him in the head.