Health Care

Dozens critically injured in stampede at Israeli religious festival

Dozens critically injured in stampede at Israeli religious festival”

Initial reports indicated that the carnage began when a section of stadium seating collapsed but rescue workers later linked the casualties to a stampede.

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered at the tomb of the second-century sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, for annual commemorations that include all-night prayer and dance.

A source at the northern Ziv hospital, one of several receiving casualties, told AFP it had recorded at least six deaths.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "heavy disaster", adding on Twitter: "We are all praying for the wellbeing of the casualties".

Over 100 people were injured, many of them critically, as medical staff struggled to evacuate people trapped at the scene at Mount Meron.

It is thought to be one of the largest gatherings of people - certainly in Israel and perhaps farther afield - since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago.

Paramedics and ultra-Orthodox Jewish men stand next to covered bodies after the tragedy.

Dozens of ambulances are at the scene and emergency services have laid out bodies under covers on the ground. "A bad disaster of people who came to celebrate Lag B'Omer and were unfortunately crushed to death", said United Hatzalah vice president of operations Dov Maisel.

More news: Ontario to introduce paid COVID-19 leave

United Hatzalah CEO Eli Pollack told The Jerusalem Post that the incident occurred when large crowds of people streamed into a closed-in complex, leading to dozens of people being crushed against fences.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid lamented the "terrible disaster", and described it as a "sad" night for the country.

Since December, more than 50 percent of the nine-million population, or about 80 percent of over-20s, have been fully vaccinated with two shots.

The Mount Meron tomb is considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Jewish world and it is an annual pilgrimage site. The event attracted tens of thousands from the ultra-Orthodox community.

The stampede happened after midnight local time and its cause was not immediately clear.

"This was a very hard site-sites that we have not seen here in Israel since the worst days of the terrorist wave back during the early 2000s", he said.

Around 5,000 police were deployed to secure the event, with the police urging pilgrims to avoid incidents during the feast when bonfires are lit.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.

Like this



29 April 2021
Biden will attack Trump on riot and pandemic in speech to Congress
A few dozen lawmakers milled about the House chamber not long before Biden's speech, and a reduced crowd of about 200 is expected. According to the Washington Post , Chief Justice John Roberts will be the only Supreme Court member in attendance, while Gen.

29 April 2021
Men Indicted On Federal Hate Crime Charges In Ahmaud Arbery Killing
Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, told NPR that he is disappointed with the Justice Department's decision to pursue federal charges. Arbery was on the ground, that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement, 'f--ing n--er, '" GBI agent Richard Dial testified.

27 April 2021
European Union launches legal action against AstraZeneca
Asked if India put it a request for these vaccines to be sent over, the senior official replied in the negative. According to a diplomatic source, India had not made a request for vaccines until the last week.

27 April 2021
Andrew Brown Jr.’s family: Police bodycam footage shows ‘execution’
Lassiter, who watched the video multiple times and took notes, said shooting started as soon as the video started. At one point, demonstrators blocking traffic on a heavily used roadway in the city, according to reports.

26 April 2021
United Kingdom opposition calls for probe into PM's flat refurbishment
Cummings said he will answer questions about any of the issues he has raised when he appears before lawmakers on May 26. Opposition parties have picked up on the allegations ahead of local elections next month.

24 April 2021
AstraZeneca vaccine benefits increase with age: European Union drug watchdog
It recommended people be offered the AstraZeneca shot if they do not want to wait for an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna.

22 April 2021
5 things to know about COVID-19 variants
So far, more than 13-million vaccines have been delivered to provinces and more than 10.7-million have been administered. As of Tuesday, the federal government was reporting 67,417 cases of COVID-19 involving that variant.

22 April 2021
Joe Biden hosts Leaders Summit on Climate on Earth Day
President Biden and Vice President Harris will open the inaugural session of the Summit. However, a White House official said a final decision had not been made.

22 April 2021
Putin hails Russia’s vaccine development in annual address
In his speech , he denounced foreign governments' alleged attempts to impose their will on Russian Federation . Since then, fighting there has killed more than 14,000 people and devastated the industrial heartland.

21 April 2021
Ma'Khia Bryant: 16-Year-Old Fatally Shot By Columbus Police
In the hours since Makiyah's death, protestors have taken to the streets to demand justice for the teen. He would not say whether the officer violated the department's standards or use of force rules.