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Hundreds evacuated as huge fire rages in Jerusalem

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in Jerusalem as a massive blaze tore through a forest near a hospital on the outskirts of the Holy City, police said.



Jerusalem: Hundreds of people were
evacuated from their homes in Jerusalem on Sunday as a massive
blaze tore through a forest near a hospital on the outskirts
of the Holy City, police said.

Scores of fire engines rushed to the scene of the
blaze which broke out in woodlands near the Hadassa hospital
just above the village of Ein Kerem, believed to be the
biblical home of John the Baptist.

"The fire is huge," police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld
said.

"We have evacuated the whole population of Moshav Ora
and Aminadav," he said, referring to two collective villages
in the hills of southwest Jerusalem which are home to around
1,500 people.

"Several streets near the hospital have already gone
up in flames -- the whole area has been shut down," he said,
although there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Rosenfeld said two fire helicopters were also trying
to tackle the blaze, with police on hand to help out.

Huge clouds of smoke were billowing into the air, obscuring much of the view across the sprawling valley, local
witnesses said.

Many roads leading to the area were closed to allow
speedier access for emergency vehicles trying to reach the
scene, they said.

PTI

From Zee News

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