Forty killed in Israeli forest fire near Haifa

About 40 people have been killed by a forest fire that is raging out of control in the Carmel Mountains near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, the ambulance service says, BBC reports. Police are evacuating thousands of people, including hundreds of prison inmates. There were reports that a bus carrying 50 prisoners was trapped in the inferno after overturning. Scores of people have been injured, the ambulance service said. “Large numbers of paramedics are dealing with injured in different locations,” a spokesman for the ambulance service said. Dozens of fire crews are battling the fire amid heavy winds with the help of water dropped from planes, the Jerusalem Post reported. Officials have told the newspaper that firefighters have been unable to control the flames. The cause of the blaze is unknown. Israel is currently suffering a period of draught with no significant rain since the spring.

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