Updated 04/29/2021 9:30 PM
The collapse of a metal stand, on the occasion of a Jewish pilgrimage in northern Israel, caused "dozens of deaths" and several injuries, according to local rescuers.
"The emergency services of the Magen David Adom (MDA, Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross), and ambulances treat dozens of injured, including" several serious ", said the spokesman of the organization,
, in a statement.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the annual pilgrimage in northern Israel on the night from Thursday to Friday, the largest public event in the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pilgrimage, which
Celebrating the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer
, it takes place in Meron, around the tomb of
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yojai
, a 2nd century Talmudist who is credited with writing the Zohar, a central work of Jewish mysticism.
🇮🇱🚨 - HORRIFYING: Multi casualty incident with over 15 deaths and many serious injuries, after a metal platform collapsed and caused a massive stampede in Meron, Israel, during Lag Baomer celebrations tonight - More updates to follow.
- Belaaz (@TheBelaaz) April 29, 2021
Lag Baomer is a joyous holiday
commemorating the end of a devastating epidemic
among the pupils of a Talmudic school at that time.
The authorities had allowed
the presence of 10,000 people in the compound
of the tomb, but, according to the organizers, more than 650 buses were chartered across the country, representing at least 30,000 people.
The local press estimated the influx at 100,000 people.
But after midnight, the stands collapsed, causing panic and calls for emergency responders who have deployed helicopters to evacuate the wounded.
The Israeli press showed the image of a dozen inert bodies lined up in plastic bags surrounded by lifeguards on an asphalt runway.
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