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Israeli Tank Commander Risks Life to Save Crew

Sunday, December 15, 2013 |  Miriam Kuhlmann  


An investigation into an Israeli army training accident in which four soldiers were wounded along the Syrian border last week revealed that the commander of the tank involved demonstrated extraordinary courage.

With his quick thinking and rapid intervention, Second Lieutenant Eylon Tsarfati pulled his driver from the burning tank and prevented a far more tragic outcome.

Following an explosion in the tank when loose gun powder came in contact with a burning-hot gun muzzle, Tsarfati and two of his wounded crew members were promptly evacuated by others participating in the exercise.


Tsarfati immediately noticed that his driver was missing, and, despite having suffered burns over 30 percent of his legs, the young commander rushed back into the tank and pulled his last crew member to safety.

This kind of response "despite the burns he sustained is what you would expect from an IDF commander," a senior military official told Ynet.

All four of the tank crew members remain hospitalized, two of them in serious condition. But there is little doubt that without Tsarfati's selfless intervention, the incident would have ended in the loss of life.