At least 28 'crushed to death', 50 injured in stampede at Israeli religious festival
At least 28 people were "crushed to death" and 50 injured in a stampede at a Jewish pilgrimage bonfire festival in Israel on Friday, the Times of Israel reported.
Rescue services said at least 28 people had died and Magen David Adom, the Israeli emergency service, said paramedics were treating at more than 50 people, including at least 20 in a critical condition.
Israeli media had earlier reported that a grandstand collapsed at the Lag B'Omer event in northern Mount Meron, but rescue service said the injuries were caused only by a stampede.
Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews were gathered at the tomb of a 2nd-century sage for annual commemorations that include all-night prayer and dance. The tomb is considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Jewish world and it is an annual pilgrimage site.
Videos posted on social media showed massive crowds dancing and jumping up and down in an arena.
לכבוד התנא: עשרות אלפים בהדלקה המרכזית של תולדות אהרן שמרעידה את הההר מצד לצד pic.twitter.com/b2pMQsXv1z— משה ויסברג (@moshe_nayes) April 29, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter the incident was a "heavy disaster."
- With Agencies