- The efforts to rescue casualties from Sinai continued all night, with Egyptian confusion reigning. Fire fighting teams from Eilat have so far rescued seven people trapped under the rubble of the Taba Hilton, four of them dead. The firefighters said that at least ten floors of the hotel collapsed.
The Home Front Command’s rescue unit joined the rescue efforts last night after being delayed by the Egyptians at the border crossing. An IDF officials said he was “unpleasantly surprised” at the Egyptians attitude. “We would have expected them to be more flexible and sensitive and to let the IDF evacuate the wounded.”
The Foreign Ministry has obtained the building plans of the hotel from Eli Papushado, who helped build the hotel, in order to transmit them to the rescue forces.
Firefighter Shimon Romah told Ynet: “We are continuing our rescue efforts but at the moment they are few because all those who could have been rescued alive, we believe have already been rescued. Apparently the rescue now will only be of corpses.”
He said, “the rescue operation slowed down because we are waiting for heavy equipment and for daylight. There are some bureaucratic problems about bringing in heavy vehicles, but we are trying to work this out with the Egyptians. In the morning we will continue rescue efforts with more forces.”
He also said: ” Working with us are Egyptian police, who are very passive, but there are no Egyptian rescue forces.”
Witnesses have said that the Egyptians detained the wounded from crossing at the border, as well as firefighters. Danieli Ophir of Tel Aviv said that children aged three and six lay at the terminal in Taba covered with blankets and bleeding and “the Egyptians did not let them pass because of passport problems. A riot broke out after parents demanded and shouted that their children be evacuated immediately.” [.]
The Foreign Ministry asked the Egyptian authorities to allow Israelis without passports to cross the border without going through passport control and the Egyptians acceded.
The Egyptians also acceded to the request to allow Egged buses to go through Sinai and evacuate Israelis wanting to leave. It was agreed that that an Egyptian guard would be on each bus. Egged Spokesman Ron Ratner:
“We allocated 80 buses for the evacuation and will use them as required.”
The Foreign Ministry also asked to have Air Force helicopters land in Egyptian territory to help evacuate the wounded.
Four firefighting teams and vehicles from Eilat went to the site of the terror attack about half an hour after the report came in of the explosion. After that, the Egyptians demanded that the other firefighters show passports. This report ran in the early hours of Friday morning, October 8th