Two teenage boys suspected of starting Israel's worst blaze

42606.jpegMore than 17,000 people have been allowed back to their homes in the north of Israel after firefighters said that the worst of the blaze in the Carmel mountains region had been brought under control.

The fire, which investigators have traced back to two teenage boys now being held by police, has devastated 5,000 hectares of forest. Forty-two people died as a result of the fire including the head of the Haifa police department and a 16-year-old volunteer firefighter who was killed during the attempt to rescue prison-guards trapped on a burning bus, Jewish Chronicle says.

The turning point came after an American supertanker aircraft capable of dumping 80,000 litres of water and retardant joined the firefighting effort.

Israel Air Force head Ido Nehushtan said 24 planes and helicopters from 10 countries had carried out more than 400 water-dropping missions, Sify informs.


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