45 crushed to death, over 150 hurt in stampede at mass Lag B’Omer event in Meron
At least 45 people were crushed to death and more than 150 people hurt, including many in critical condition, in a stampede after midnight Thursday at a mass gathering to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron, medics said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “a terrible disaster,” promised a thorough investigation, and said that Sunday would be declared a day of national mourning.
Army Radio reported that children were among the dead and injured.
The event is believed to be the worst peacetime tragedy in modern Israeli history, with a death toll higher than the 44 who lost their lives in the 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire.
The wounded were taken to the Ziv hospital in Safed, the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Rambam hospital in Haifa, Poriya hospital in Tiberias, and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem. By Friday afternoon, 21 people were still in hospitals, several of them in serious condition.
Several hospitals opened hotlines for people to search for family and friends who may have been injured; Galilee: 04-9850505, Ziv: 04-6828838 and Poriya: 04-6652211. Police could also be contacted at 110. Efforts to identify all the victims and contact all the families were expected to be protracted, with some living overseas.
Read More: Times of Israel