One man was killed and three people were critically injured when a truck drove into a bus stop near a train station in the northern Israeli city of Akko. Seven others were hospitalized with mild to moderate injuries. Police officials say the crash was deliberate but not a terror attack.
The Jewish driver, identified as 45-year-old Gabi Chen, told police that he deliberately drove into the station, saying: “The Shin Bet and police killed my child.” However, an examination revealed that his two children are alive.
Chen, who appared to be drunk, fled from the scene but was caught and taken in for questioning. Police are investigating reports that a train security guard fired shots at him.
Magen David Adom teams provided first aid to the victims and evacuated them to a hospital in the nearby city of Nahariya. Few victims suffering from head and stomach trauma were airlifted later to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa.
‘Not a terror attack’
The possibility that the crash was a terrorist attack was initially considered, but later ruled out by police officials.
“This event disturbed the quiet that characterizes our town,” said Akko Mayor Shimon Lankri. “I understood immediately that this wasn’t a nationalistic event – we preserve the coexistence in this city and take actions to prevent friction.”
Police Northern District Commander Shimon Koren, who arrived at the scene, told Ynet the event was not accidental.
“The investigation shows that the driver caused the crash deliberately,” he said earlier. “The motivation for the incident is unclear.”
Vehicles in an adjacent traffic circle were hit as well. Following the crash, the area surrounding the scene was closed for traffic.