Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday personally thanked bus driver Michael Yoger and alert passenger, David Papo, of the #240 bus in Bat Yam, who worked quickly to avert a terrorist explosion on the bus line yesterday.
In a phone call, President Peres asked to hear the details of the event and thanked Yoger and Papo for their actions in discovering the device and clearing the passengers from the bus, saving lives in the process, his office said in a statement.
Peres told the driver: “The whole nation is saying prayers of thanks today, you saved so many lives with the speed and bravery of your actions — he who saves one life it is as if he has saved an entire world, you saved many lives today. The nation owes you a debt of gratitude and I would like to personally congratulate you for this act of bravery. Tell your children and your family that we are all proud of their father.”
President Peres spoke with Papo, the passenger who first identified the device and then helped remove the other passengers from the bus, thanking him for getting involved and discovering the device and then alerting the driver immediately, telling him that his actions saved countless lives. Papo told Peres that, “A child told the driver that someone had left a bag on the bus, I don’t know why but I decided to examine it because I didn’t understand how someone could leave such a big bag on the bus. I tried to lift the bag but it was so heavy that it raised my suspicion further. When I opened the bag I saw what it was. When the explosion happened we were in the road helping the police to stop passersby and the traffic. Only afterwards when I saw the hole in the bus did I understand the damage that could have been caused.”
Bus driver Yoger thanked Peres for his attention: “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your kind words, it was a pleasure to speak to you. I thank G-d for allowing me to stay alive and not still be on that bus.”