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Twin girls missing in deadly crash found alive

Feb. 18, 2012 5:20 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2012 4:10 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- In the chaotic aftermath of a deadly school bus crash near Ramallah on Thursday, twin girls who were believed dead have been discovered alive and well a day later in a Jerusalem hospital.

Five primary schoolchildren and their teacher were killed when the vehicle collided with a truck near Jaba checkpoint north of Jerusalem. But Initial reports from the Red Crescent Society had indicated 10 were dead.

The parents of Dana and Lana Abdullah Hamdan told Ma'an on Saturday how they believed their daughters were among those casualties.

They trawled from hospital to hospital, and when their daughters' names were not found on any records, the parents believed that two charred unidentified bodies must have belonged to the twins.

Adding to the confusion as the story developed, the twins were mentioned by witnesses as possible victims. Pictures believed to be the girls were also circulated by media outlets.

Then Friday, the parents found the children alive but injured in a Jerusalem hospital.

The couple are now torn between the relief of finding their children alive, and grief for the families who lost sons and daughters in the accident which also injured dozens.

Described by Mahmoud Abbas as a "national catastrophe," the accident saw scenes of chaos as the injured were taken to Jerusalem and Ramallah, as Israeli and Palestinian emergency services attended the scene.

The crash took place in an area of the West Bank zoned 'Area C,' where Israel has full civil and security control.
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