The incident’s cause was not immediately apparent. According to a local media report citing witnesses, many of the injured are unconscious, and ambulances and helicopters are evacuating patients from Israel’s largest crowd since the COVID-19 outbreak.
At least 28 people have been pronounced dead, while dozens of people are injured, including at least 15 in critical condition, as a result of a stampede and a stand collapse at a mass gathering to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron in Israel, The Times of Israel newspaper reported on Friday.
The Haaretz newspaper, at the same time, reported citing health officials that the overall death toll has reached 38 people.
According to reports, a stage at one of the concerts, which drew 100,000 spectators, had collapsed. At the same time the Israel Defense Forces, which sent their rescue team to the scene, reportedly stated that it was the roof that collapsed.
🇮🇱🚨 — 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. pic.twitter.com/yKNxFayurv
— Belaaz (@TheBelaaz) April 29, 2021
The medical service reported about 50 injured people.
Dozens dead in #Meron #Israel
As the holiday of #LagBaomer starts due to either a collapse or stampede pic.twitter.com/RGJmF7kQ4G
— Mike Gee (@MikeyGee2020) April 29, 2021
נורא לראות את הצפיפות שהיתה במעבר הצר, ואת הדוחק העצום שהוביל בסוף לאסון הקשה והמחריד. pic.twitter.com/1RE7FggFXt
— ישראל כהן (@Israelcohen911) April 29, 2021
Videos shared online taken apparently prior to the collapse, showed thousands of people dancing and jumping up and down to music in the makeshift arena.
לכבוד התנא: עשרות אלפים בהדלקה המרכזית של תולדות אהרן שמרעידה את הההר מצד לצד pic.twitter.com/b2pMQsXv1z
— משה ויסברג (@moshe_nayes) April 29, 2021
According to the report, the local police were attempting to clear the people from the scene so that ambulances could enter. Loudspeakers in Yiddish and Hebrew urged people to move aside to allow rescuers to pass.
Israel’s Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who was on one of the stages when it collapsed, reportedly stayed there with other prominent rabbis, praying for the injured.
Lag B’Omer, also spelled as Lag BaOmer, is a Jewish religious holiday marking the hillula, the celebration or anniversary of the death of ancient Judea Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, or “The Rashbi”, closely connected with the Kabbalah mysticism school.