44 killed in the Meron crash

The disaster has overtaken the annual Lag Ba’Omer festivities in Meron, northern Israel. 44 people were crushed to death last night during the ceremony at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai on Mount Meron. More than 150 people were injured, eighteen seriously. The Department of Religious Services announced the incident was over and called on the public not to come to Meron.

The incident allegedly happened because some people leaving the crowded site slipped on steps, causing those behind them to fall and cause a human stunt, crushing people to death. At the time, the leader of the Hasidic sect Toldot Aharon had just lit the traditional bonfire in honor of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai.

An eyewitness, Moshe Lavi, told Walla! News: “There was pressure, a lot of people. I left just after the bonfire was lit. There was a natural and normal congestion. They tried to regulate it. At the exit, which is quite enough. narrow, someone slipped, and they started to fall on him. “

Police report that the evacuation of the wounded has been completed and that they are evacuating the crowds from the site. Due to the load on cellular networks, many people were unable to contact their loved ones attending the event. IDF ambulances and six rescue helicopters evacuated the wounded to Ziv Hospital in Zfat (Tzafed), near Rambam Hospital in Haifa and to Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

Hasidic groups in the United States reportedly canceled events at Lag Ba’Omer and held prayers for the wounded in Meron.

President Reuven Rivlin said last night in response to the disaster: “I have followed Meron’s reports in great shock, and I pray for the recovery of the injured. God, please heal them.”

Posted by Globes, Israel Business News – en.globes.co.il – April 30, 2021

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