The daily beast
Dozens dead in Stampede at an ultra-Orthodox festival in Israel
At least 44 people were killed and dozens injured after a massive stamp at a religious festival in northern Israel on Thursday night. Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered for Lag b’Omer, taking part in the biggest event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. But for a moment the religious celebration became a scene of absolute horror. I just sat down to eat when I heard the screams. We hurried to help and then saw the bodies. In the beginning it was about 1
0. Now there are many more – said one witness Avi to Haaretz. “It happened in a split second.” People just fell, stomping. It was a catastrophe, “another witness was quoted as saying. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but by early Friday morning, in addition to the stunning victims of 44, more than 150 people were injured, Magen’s David Adom ambulance. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dubbed the “great tragedy,” the scene at the foot of Mount Meron was in chaos: helicopters arrived to evacuate the wounded as the first responders raced desperately to seek all of them, sometimes resuscitating.Meanwhile, search and rescue teams are searching for anyone who may be trapped, and while the cell phone service has descended into the area as thousands of family members try to get in touch with relatives. Some witnesses accused the police barricades of making it difficult for those present to come out. “We were at the entrance, we decided that we wanted to get out and then the police blocked the gate so that whoever wanted to get out could not get out. At this speed, we fell on top of each other, I thought I would die, “said an eyewitness quoted by a Jerusalem post. “I saw people dead next to me.” Police sources quoted by Haaretz deny that any action by law enforcement contributed to the silence, saying the deadly chain of events began after some of those present stumbled upon steps and knocked down several other people. The incident is now being investigated, police said. The religious celebration at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was to continue throughout the day on Friday, but many who witnessed the silence said the celebration had become too gloomy. “No one imagined that this could happen here,” a witness identified as Yitzhak was quoted as saying by Channel 12 TV. “Joy has become mourning, great light has become deep darkness.” Pic.twitter.com/1RE7FggFXt— ישראל @ (@ Israelcohen911) April 29, 2021 Read more in The Daily Beast. Get our best stories in your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves into the stories that matter to you. Find out more.