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At least 44 killed in Israeli religious festival crush

At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of...

👤 H K Badal30 April 2021 7:12 AM GMT
At least 44 killed in Israeli religious festival crush
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At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of Israel.

Dozens more were injured at the Lag B'Omer festival, which takes place annually at the foot of Mount Meron.

Early reports suggested a structure at the site had collapsed, but emergency officials later said a crush had occurred at around 01:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on Apr 29.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a "heavy disaster" and said he was praying for the casualties.

Tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews attended the festival, making it the largest event in Israel since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The country's successful vaccination programme has allowed it to lift many restrictions, but health officials had still warned of the risk of Covid-19.


Police sources told Haaretz newspaper that it started after some attendees slipped on steps, which caused dozens more to fall.