Police in Israel have launched an investigation after a bus carrying Russian tourists veered off a desert road and plunged down a ravine, killing up to 30 people and seriously injuring a dozen more. The crash, close to the Sinai Desert border near the Red Sea resort of Eliat, is the worst in Israel in years. Shaul Mofaz, the country’s transport minister, says the crash may have been sparked by an argument between two bus drivers: “ They met at a roadblock and they had an argument. As they drove off they tried to overtake one another. What happened when they arrived at the bend, and one went into the ravine, the police will determine.”
Troops, police and rescue workers rushed to the scene and army helicopters evacuated survivors. Witnesses say they saw bodies flying out of the windows as the bus pitched down the ravine. The Russians, mainly from St Petersburg, had just arrived in the country. Moscow has dispatched two planes to Israel: one to take families of the dead or injured to Eliat, the other, a cargo plane, to transport medical staff, psychologists and equipment to the scene.