Several members of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community were killed on Friday during a religious gathering for Lag BaOmer; Well over 100 others were injured during the catastrophe; PM Netanyahu has marked Sunday as a day of mourning.
Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community faced a tragedy on Friday when a massive gathering for Lag BaOmer took a turn for the worst. The incident took place in northern Israel’s Mount Meron, where it’s estimated that nearly 100,000 people showed up for the event. At least one source said that the site was only capable of hosting 25,000.
The incident, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “terrible disaster,” occurred when a stampede occurred after an overwhelming amount of people collapsed down a narrow passageway consisting of slippery metal stairs. One report revealed that the barriers put in place created a hindrance for people to escape the catastrophe quickly. However, as mentioned above, the amount of people on-site was far beyond what the location could handle.
Friday morning’s disaster took place in the men’s corridor of the facility. Children are among those killed. Many of those who died still await identification.
Netanyahu said, “There were heartbreaking scenes here. People who were crushed to death, including children. Many of the dead have yet to be identified, and I ask not to spread rumors on social networks because it breaks the families’ hearts. Let the authorities work.”
Netanyahu and many others gave blood on Friday to help the injured.
The holiday observance was the first large religious gathering since the Jewish state removed several longstanding COVID restrictions.