Forest fire chaos, fatal crash near Haifa

The fire is still blazing in the Carmel region

The fire is still blazing in the Carmel region

Up to 40 Israelis are believed to have been killed or injured after a bus crashed while evacuating people from a devastating forest fire in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa.

The accident involved a bus transporting prison guards from the Damon Prison to safety.

The blaze has also meant that hundreds of people have been taken away from their homes while the University of Haifa has been forced to evacuate its campus.

A Haifa police official said the fire had spread because of strong winds. Deputy Superintendent Ahuva Mishne added: "The winds are blowing in the direction of the sea, so there is no real concern for the [nearby] villages."

Last updated: 9:22am, December 3 2010