At least 45 people have been killed and 150 injured in a stampede during a religious festival in northeastern Israel.
The country’s emergency response agency, the MDA, has confirmed deaths and says dozens of people were injured in the incident.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 44 people have been killed in the stampede. Rescuers are transporting the injured to a hospital.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident a “catastrophe” and expressed sympathy for the bereaved.
After the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, millions of people attended a festival called “Lag B’Omer” on Mount Marin. Despite fears of the virus spreading, millions of Israelis attended the religious festival.
However, there are now dozens of ambulances and rescue workers lying on the ground after the incident. Police have appealed to all people to leave the affected area.
It should be noted that millions of Orthodox Jews celebrate Lag B’Omer every year. It is celebrated throughout the night with prayers and religious dances.
Emergency officials said the condition of 38 injured people at the scene was critical. Six more critically ill patients have been taken to hospital, while others have suffered minor injuries.
Initial reports said a building had collapsed at the scene, but the MDA later said there had been a stampede. Police sources told the Haaretz newspaper that some participants slipped down the stairs, after which dozens of fugitives fell.
“It all happened in seconds,” said an eyewitness. People fell and trampled on each other. It was devastating. ”
Thousands of people can be seen standing together in videos of the event on the Internet. They had a hard time getting out of the event after the incident.
America’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid condolence and said on Twitter, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy that occurred at Mt. Meron in Israel. We mourn the lives lost, extend our deepest condolences to the families, and pray for the injured to recover quickly.”
We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy that occurred at Mt. Meron in Israel. We mourn the lives lost, extend our deepest condolences to the families, and pray for the injured to recover quickly.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) April 30, 2021