Israeli woman mistakenly junks $1 million mattress

Israeli woman mistakenly junks $1 million mattress
Jerusalem, June 11: An Israeli woman mistakenly threw out a mattress she said had almost USD 1 million inside, setting off a frantic search through tons of garbage at a number of landfill sites on Wednesday. The woman told reporters that she bought her elderly mother a new mattress as a surprise present on Monday — and threw out the old one.

The next day, she said, she remembered that she had hidden her life savings inside the old mattress. "I woke up in the morning screaming, when it hit me what happened," said the Tel Aviv woman, who asked not to be identified.

She went to look for the mattress, but it had already been hauled away by garbage collectors, she said. Searches at three different landfill sites turned up nothing.

She said the money was in US dollars and Israeli shekels. She refused to say how she acquired such a large sum. "It was all my money in the world," she said. There was no way to verify her claims, and she refused to disclose key details.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he was not familiar with the case and no report had been filed.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot published a picture of the woman searching through garbage at a dump in southern Israel. The picture shows the woman, dressed in a white top and black pants with her back to the camera, picking through a huge pile of trash that fills the frame about 10 feet (3 meters) in all directions.

Yitzhak Borba, the dump manager, told Army Radio that his staff was helping the woman, saying she appeared "totally desperate." He said the mattress was hard to find among the 2,500 tons of garbage that arrives at the site every day.

He said he increased security at the site to keep would-be treasure hunters away.

The woman said the money had been stashed in a mattress because she had had "traumatic experiences with banks" in the past. She would not elaborate.

Driver 'dozes off' on India train

By Amarnath Tewary in Patna

A train near Allahabad, India (file photo)
Millions of passengers travel by trains in India daily
A passenger train in the Indian state of Bihar zoomed past two railway stations - apparently after the driver fell asleep at the controls.
Those on board say the driver stopped only after some of the panic-stricken passengers managed to wake him up.
Following protests by angry passengers, he then reversed the train to return to the stations he had missed.
The driver and the guard of the train have been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered, a railway official said.
'Out of proportion'
The incident is alleged to have occurred after the Jogbani-Katihar express left Forbesganj railway station in Bihar on Monday.
We sounded the alarm and began to shout - only then did the driver wake up
Passenger Vivek Thakur
It zoomed past its first scheduled halt at Dholbazza, railway officials said.
Passengers then panicked when the train also missed its next stop of Pothia railway station in Kishanganj.
When some of the passengers managed to reach the engine, they apparently found the driver snoring away.
"We sounded the alarm and began to shout - only then did the driver wake up," passenger Vivek Thakur was quoted by a local newspaper as saying.
The driver then reversed to stations he had missed.
"We have been informed that the driver concerned drove past some local stations in a state of sleep. These are lapses which cannot be tolerated at any cost," Babulal Gaekwad, the divisional railway manager of the North-east Frontier Railway told the BBC.
Passengers waiting to board the train at the two railway stations had a miraculous escape as some of them were standing close to the tracks to get into the crammed train compartments. Some even sustained minor bruises.
A senior railway official, Gopal Kumar, told the BBC that the driver and the guard of the train had been suspended and an inquiry had been ordered.
Mr Kumar admitted that the train had missed stops and had to retrace its route, but described it as "a small incident blown out of proportion".
"Let the inquiry be completed and only then will we be able to say whether the driver fell asleep or not."
Railway officials at the station initially thought the authorities might have decided to reschedule the train stops under the new railways minister and some angry passengers began to protest.
On Monday, angry villagers set fire to two trains in Bihar and ransacked a railway station in protest at a decision not to stop some trains at remote stations. The decision was later reversed.
State-owned Indian railways is an immense network connecting every corner of the vast country.
One of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, it operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries 18 million passengers every day.

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