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Grief at West Bank school-bus tragedy

Seven children and a teacher were killed yesterday when a truck lost control in rainy weather and crashed into a school bus.

Hundreds of people gathered at a West Bank hospital in an outpouring of grief, Palestinian police said.

The bus left the city of Ramallah on a school excursion but the driver decided to turn back as the storms worsened. On its way back, a truck veered into the bus, causing it to flip and catch fire. The children killed were aged four to six. Slippery road conditions probably were to blame, police said.

The accident was in the central West Bank, in an area Palestinians claim as their future state but where Israel has full control.

Israeli and Palestinian rescuers arrived at the scene and evacuated at least 30 injured passengers to hospitals in Ramallah and Jerusalem. The truck driver was an Arab Israeli and all eight victims were Palestinian.