Israel stampede: Dozens killed in crush at religious festival

Israel

A massive stampede at a densely packed Jewish pilgrimage site killed at least 44 people in northern Israel on Friday, with rescue workers facing chaotic crowds while trying to evacuate the injured.

The disaster occurred in Meron at the site of the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century Talmudic sage, where Jews flock to mark the Lag BaOmer holiday.

 

Closed last year due to coronavirus restrictions, this year’s pilgrimage was the largest public gathering since the pandemic began.

The pilgrimage was largest public gathering since the pandemic began, with reports that there were three times more people there than authorised.

Initial reports indicated that the carnage began when a section of stadium seating collapsed but rescue workers later linked the casualties to a stampede.