Holocaust Museum evacuated due to Jerusalem fire
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2011, 22:59
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 area.

"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

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