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Crush at Israeli religious festival kills 44

2021-04-30
IMG

In an event where tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews thronged to the Galilee tomb for the annual Lag B'Omer commemorations that include all-night prayer, mystical songs and dance, at least 44 people were crushed to death due to overcrowding.

As per witnesses people were asphyxiated or trampled in a tightly packed passageway. Medics had said that 103 people were injured in the stampede.

On social media there were videos posted that showed chaotic scenes, and bodies on stretchers in a corridor, covered in foil blankets.

According to a police spokesman, the capacity at Mount Meron was the same as last year but this year there were bonfire areas that were partitioned-off as a COVID-19 precaution, which might have created the unexpected choke-points on foot traffic.

Netanyahu said that it was a heavy disaster, and the country was praying for the wellbeing of the casualties.

The White House and European Union offered condolences.

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