- 44 dead, 103 injured in stampede at a religious bonfire festival in Israel
- PM Benjamin Netanyahu described the occurrence as a “heavy disaster”
- The White House and European Union offer condolences
More than 44 people were on Friday trampled to death at a religious bonfire festival in Israel that experienced thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews thronging to the Galilee tomb an over-crowded for annual Lag B’Omer commemorations that are often underlined by all-night prayer, mystical songs and dance.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the occurrence at the Galilee tomb of 2nd-century sage Rabbi Shim Bar Yochai as a “heavy disaster” adding on Twitter that “We are all praying for the wellbeing of the casualties.”
Helicopters were deployed to ferry the injured to hospitals with medics putting the number of those injured in the stampede at 103, among them children.
“We were going to go inside for the dancing and stuff and all of a sudden we saw paramedics from (ambulance service) MDA running by, like mid-CPR on kids,” Shlomo Katz, one of those at the scene, is quoted by Reuters.
The White House and European Union offered condolences.