The disaster affected the annual Lag Ba’Omer ceremony at Meron in northern Israel. 44 people were killed at a ceremony last night in the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai on Mount Meron. More than 150 people were injured, eighteen seriously. The Ministry of Religious Services announced that the incident was over and called on the public not to come to Meron.
The incident allegedly happened as a result of some people leaving the crowded location slipping on the stairs, which caused the fall of those behind them and caused a human cascade, breaking people to death. At the time, Toldot sect leader Aharon Hassidic had just lit a traditional bonfire in honor of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai.
Eyewitness Moshe Lavi told Walli! The news: “There was pressure, a lot of people. I left right after the bonfire was lit. It was a natural and normal crowd. They tried to regulate it. At the exit, which is quite narrow, someone slipped and they started falling on it.”
Police report that the evacuation of the injured has been completed and that they are removing the crowd from the scene. Due to the load on mobile networks, many people could not contact their relatives who participated in the event. An ambulance and six IDF rescue helicopters evacuated the injured to Ziv Hospital in nearby Tzafed, Rambam Hospital in Haifa and Galileo Medical Center in Nahariya.
Hasidic groups in the United States have canceled the Lag Ba’Omer events and are holding prayers for the injured on Meron.
President Reuven Rivlin said last night in response to the disaster: “I am following reports from Meron in great shock and I am praying for the recovery of the injured. God, please heal them.”
Posted by Globes, business news in Israel – en.globes.co.il – April 30, 2021
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