Jerusalem: Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust
Museum, build to commemorate 6 million Jews that perished in
World War II, had to be evacuated today as firefighters
battled a raging fire that broke out in the Jerusalem Forest.
The Fire Department spokesman told Channel 10 that
"large teams of firefighters have been deployed in the entire
area, and curious onlookers should clear out".
"Firefighting planes are flying above us in an
attempt to put out the fire," he added.
Fire engines and aircrafts were dispatched to fight
the blaze in the forest and Mount Herzl area in the west of
the city as Jerusalem police closed all roads leading to the
"We have evacuated all the workers and tourists from
Yad Vashem," said police spokeswoman, Luba Samri.
One person had to be hospitalised for smoke
inhalation, Channel 10 said.
Yad Vashem Spokesperson, Estee Yaari, said that some
of the staff had remained behind to try to protect the trove
of irreplaceable artefacts.
"Some of the staff including the director general
and security people have remained behind to try and help and
make sure everything is okay," Yaari said.
The museum complex is said to be filled with smoke
even though the blaze hasn't reached it yet.
It has the biggest collection of artefacts to
research on the Nazi persecution of the Jews and includes a
historical museum on Jewish communities lost in the Holocaust.
It is among one of the first stops for every foreign
dignitary that visits the Jewish state.
Yad Vashem is the main museum in Israel
commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime
during World War II.
First Published: Sunday, July 17, 2011, 22:59