Israel: At least 44 killed after stampede at religious Lag B’omer festival attended by tens of thousands
At least 44 people have been killed in a stampede at a Jewish religious gathering in northern Israel, local authorities said.
By Gary Flockhart
Published 30th Apr 2021, 06:52 BST
Updated 30th Apr 2021, 15:07 BST
The national emergency service, Magen David Adom (MDA), said dozens more had been wounded at the festival of Lag B’omer, at the foot of Mount Meron.
Festival organisers estimated that 100,000 people attended the event on Thursday. But after midnight, a grandstand collapsed, triggering scenes of panic.
Israel s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, described the incident as a “heavy disaster”, adding: “We are all praying for the wellbeing of the casualties.”
Emergency officials said 38 people were in critical condition at the site, with scores more wounded less seriously.
“MDA is fighting for the lives of dozens wounded, and will not give up until the last victim is evacuated,” a tweet read.
Israel has lifted most coronavirus restrictions and the festival was held legally.
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