Israel stampede: Dozens killed in crush at religious festival in Mount Meron

Enlarge this image

Ambulance officials described the incident as a stampede and said 103 people had been injured, including dozens fatally.

Media estimated the crowd at about 100,000 people, and videos posted on social media showed scores of black-clad ultra-Orthodox men walking through narrow passages to the site. It also said in a tweet that that 38 were critically inured and still at the location, six were in critical condition at a hospital, 18 were severely injured, two were moderately injured and 39 were lightly injured.

Medics and rescue workers attend to the Lag B'Omer event in Mount Meron, northern Israel, where fatalities were reported among the thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered at the tomb of a 2nd-century sage for annual commemorations that include all-night prayer and dance, at Mount Meron, Israel April 30, 2021.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "heavy disaster" and said he was "praying for the injured".

By Friday morning, Zaka, another ambulance service, said the death toll had risen to 44.

It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede.

A 24-year-old witness, identified only by his first name Dvir, told the Army Radio station that "masses of people were pushed into the same corner and a vortex was created".

United Kingdom opposition calls for probe into PM's flat refurbishment
Earlier Labour also called for an independent commission on ethics and standards in government to be set up. All the costs will be declared in line with the rules".

"This is one of the worst tragedies that I have ever experienced", said Lazar Hyman of the United Hatzalah volunteer rescue service, who was at the scene. "In one moment, we went from a happy event to an enormous tragedy", he said.

Photos from the scene showed rows of wrapped bodies.

The Israeli military said search and rescue troops and medical teams were scrambled. It did not provide details on the nature of the disaster.

AP reported it was the first legal religious gathering held in Israel since the country's COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted following its remarkably fast vaccine rollout.

The Lag B'Omer event at Mount Meron was 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.

Private bonfires at Mount Meron were banned last year due to coronavirus restrictions, but lockdown measures were eased this year amid Israel's rapid Covid-19 vaccination programme that has seen more than 50 percent of the population fully vaccinated.

But when the celebrations started, the Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, police chief Yaakov Shabtai and other top officials visited the event and met with police, who had deployed 5,000 extra forces to maintain order.

Related News:

  • Paid sick leave: Why three days? Why now? Why?

    Paid sick leave: Why three days? Why now? Why?

    Retroactive to April 19, 2021, the program ends on Sept 25, 2021, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit ( CRSB ) expiry date. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it's clear the federal government had "rebuffed" the province's request.
    MA  will retain all 9 of its U.S. House seats

    MA will retain all 9 of its U.S. House seats

    But state demographers said the state's rural areas, especially the Upper Peninsula, may fare worse than Michigan's largest city. NY congressional delegation will drop to 26 next year after the once-a-decade reapportionment process is completed.
    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be given to adults 30+, NACI says

    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be given to adults 30+, NACI says

    Also on Friday, the province announced that pregnant people of any age in Ontario are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. At Fort Meade, 800 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine were improperly handled, according to Pentagon officials.
  • EU Countries to Permit Entry for Vaccinated Americans in Summer 2021

    EU Countries to Permit Entry for Vaccinated Americans in Summer 2021

    The European Union has said it wants to launch a vaccine passport for travellers, though plans have not yet been formalised. The news was announced by the head of the bloc's executive body in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday.
    Australian city of Perth to enter snap 3-day lockdown

    Australian city of Perth to enter snap 3-day lockdown

    The Anzac Day dawn services in the lockdown areas will be cancelled and people must wear masks when leaving their homes. All passengers on the flight with him have been instructed by authorities to get tested and quarantine.
    Australia nixes state Belt and Road deals with China in first veto

    Australia nixes state Belt and Road deals with China in first veto

    Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the BRI deal has been cancelled under the Commonwealth's new foreign veto laws. It's the first time the new powers have been used by the conservative coalition government led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
  • CDC updates coronavirus summer camp guidance

    CDC updates coronavirus summer camp guidance

    Fauci's latest comments on the risk of contracting COVID-19 outdoors appear to be another flip-flop. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on vaccines from Fauci, check out Dr.
    Daily record of more than 893000 COVID cases globally

    Daily record of more than 893000 COVID cases globally

    But we have limitations and the biggest challenge right now is transporting it to where it's urgently needed. Additional medical oxygen has been trucked into the capital from industrial zones in eastern India .
    Death toll in Quetta blast climbs to five

    Death toll in Quetta blast climbs to five

    He added that the Chinese ambassador, Nong Rong, was at a function at the time and so was not at the hotel. A spokesman for the TTP said, "Our suicide bomber used his explosive filled vehicle in the hotel".
  • Warrant: Drug buys recorded weeks before Black man shot dead

    Warrant: Drug buys recorded weeks before Black man shot dead

    If he gets that confirmation, the office would file for the judge to release the footage, Wooten said. Calls have been growing to release the body camera footage.
    India coronavirus cases set new global record as U.S.  readies help

    India coronavirus cases set new global record as U.S. readies help

    Others such as US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India. And it's why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply.
    Myanmar junta agrees to stop violence, says Muhyiddin

    Myanmar junta agrees to stop violence, says Muhyiddin

    Saturday's meeting follows mass protests which have been met by a brutal crackdown that has left blood on the streets. The leaders of Thailand and the Philippines skipped the summit to deal with coronavirus outbreaks back home.


Most liked

Australian official Michael Pezzullo warns 'drums of war' are beating with China
But then we're also concerned with all sorts of other aspects of coercion that don't quite reach the level of a military invasion. Pezzullo sent out the message to mark Anzac Day, which honors Australia's veterans .

U.S. judge denies immediate release of Andrew Brown shooting video
An official autopsy has yet to be released, though the death certificate had indicated Mr Brown died of a gunshot to the head. He said Brown was still able to turn his vehicle away from the deputies before being shot in the lower part of his skull.

Biden Delivers Address Flanked By Pelosi And Harris, In Historic First
Pelosi already knows what it feels like to sit on the rostrum in the House chamber and introduce a president for speeches. Activist and writer Charlotte Clymer posted a photograph of the two women leaders and wrote , "Madam Vice President".

Northern Ireland First Minister Foster to step down after party revolt
She urged other women to follow suit despite "the misogynistic criticisms that female public figures have to take". First Minister Arlene Foster said she would resign as leader of the party on May 28 and as first minister in June.

China launches key module of space station planned for 2022
At Wenchuan Space Station on Hainan Island in southern China, the launcher has been ready on the launch pad since the weekend. In December, its Chang'e 5 probe returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the USA missions of the 1970s.

European Union launches legal action against AstraZeneca over Covid vaccine delays
Political concerns have also weighed on officials, who are wary of sending doses overseas before every American can access them. Embassy in India, to work with Indian experts including, including in laboratory-related services.

Hospital Fire Kills 82, Sparks Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq
Daily coronavirus rates now average above 8,000 new cases, the highest since the pandemic broke out in the country past year . Daily virus cases now average around 8,000, the highest since Iraq began recording infection rates early previous year .

Five arrests and police injured at anti-lockdown protests in London
Another major easing is due in mid-May, when some indoor socialising can resume, before almost all restrictions are ended in late June.

In landmark step, Biden expected to recognise Armenian genocide
In recent years, Turkey has launched military operations against PKK enclaves in northern Iraq and against US -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Caitlyn Jenner files initial paperwork in bid for Calif. governor
Jenner is the biggest celebrity name to enter the race so far besides former porn star Mary Carey , who also ran in 2003. If there is one, voters would be asked whether the governor should be recalled and if so, who should succeed him.

Biden hails 'stunning' United States achievement in giving 200 million vaccine doses
It is not clear whether Mr Biden would consider sharing more AstraZeneca doses before the USA has enough vaccine. Biden's remarks also come as Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine continues to be shelved.

Vladimir Putin warns the West against crossing red line of Russian Federation
Russian police detained several allies raided two of his regional offices, a protest monitoring group said. Petersburg, Tver and Volgograd, ahead of more widespread protests planned for Wednesday.

Family: 15-year-old girl shot, killed by police in Columbus, Ohio
He said the investigation still needs to be completed to determine if the actions of the officers were justified. Woods said the department must follow the OH law on public records before it can share the full video.

Indonesian Navy Loses Contact With Submarine; 53 Aboard
Fifty-three people are said to be on board the missing submarine, which may be at a depth of 700 metres, media reports say. The KRI Nanggala-402 submarine stopped responding in the early morning defense officials said.

Cardi B, Meek Mill, & Mariah Carey React to Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict
The jury of six white members and six Black or multiracial ones finished deliberations after about 10 hours over two days. He, Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to the Floyd family after the verdict was rendered.