Israel mourns as festival crush victims identified
May 2, 2021 1:14 pm
The bodies of 32 people killed in a stampede at a Jewish pilgrimage site have been identified in Israel.
At least 45 people died in the crush at the Lag B’Omer festival, near Mount Meron, when they became trapped in an overcrowded passageway.
Some 150 people were injured.
Uriel Goldberg, an Israeli paramedic says this was one of the most horrific incident of recent times.
“It was in a small corridor area where a lot of people were crowded in, they were finding difficulty in finding their way out. Once the panic started, there was no controlling and once a few of these people were falling down and they could not get out.”
The identification process was paused for 24 hours late on Friday to mark the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest.
Work is expected to resume after sunset on Saturday, which ends the Sabbath.
So far, 22 bodies have been released for burial.
Those who died are believed to be predominantly men or boys from the ultra-Orthodox community as the crush at the largely gender-segregated event happened in one of the men’s sections.
Some victims are believed to be foreign nationals, including several US citizens.