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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview With Haifa Rescue Captain

Aired March 5, 2003 - 08:47   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Back to the Middle East now. An update now on that explosion where we believe at least 11 people have lost their lives and more than a dozen injured.
Let's turn to Hezi Levi, who is the captain of the Haifa Fire and Rescue Department who joins us from the explosion site there -- good morning, Mr. Levi. Describe to us what happened.

HEZI LEVI, CAPTAIN, HAIFA FIRE AND RESCUE: OK. After we get the first call for the explosion, our first -- the nearest fire station is about 150 meters from the scene. So the fire team is the first team that arrived to the scene, and the scene that they had -- had to deal with was very difficult, because there was a lot of injured inside the bus, and outside the bus. There was a little -- a small fire that the firefighter have to first to extinguish. Not to make -- the person who are injured inside the bus they get burned.

It was a very difficult scene. Right now, all the injured was put out to the hospitals, and the scene is now, all the streets arrive to the scene are closed. That's all for now.

ZAHN: Captain Levi, can you confirm any of the numbers that are being talked about? At least 11 people dead, more than a dozen wounded? Does that sound right to you?

LEVI: No, I'm sorry, I cannot confirm these numbers, because I'm not authorized to confirm the numbers. Only the EMS services and the police can tell you the numbers. I don't deal with the numbers.

ZAHN: I know you said there were lots of injured outside the bus, and I know you're very early on in your investigation. Do you believe anybody that was on the bus at the time of the explosion survived?

LEVI: Yes. There is some, I believe there is some people inside the bus that was injured, but survived the bomb.

ZAHN: And if you would describe to us some of the damage done to buildings in the area as a result of the explosion.

LEVI: Yes. There is several buildings around the scene that was damaged from the bomb, windows and such things.

ZAHN: And can you tell us this morning who you think might have been on the bus? An early report suggested perhaps there were some university students on the bus. LEVI: Well, I said that noon time in Israel is the exact time that students come back to their houses from school. This is a bus who usually delivers students, so it might that we find out there was students inside the bus, but it's not official right now.

ZAHN: And finally this morning, is it your understanding the bus had come to a stop and was just getting ready to pull out at the time of the explosion?

LEVI: That's right. That's right. The bus was -- in the bus station, in the bus station. It is standing right now in the bus station.

ZAHN: Well, we wish you tremendous luck in the aftermath of this very horrible scene...

LEVI: Yes, it's horrible afternoon, yes.

ZAHN: And we thank you for telling us what is going on live there at the scene. We wish you the best.

LEVI: Thank you.

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