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At least 48 killed in a stampede during a celebration in Israel

MERON: At least 48 people have been killed in a stampede in Meron, northern Israel. The incident happened during a Jewish religious celebration. About 100 people have been hospitalized with injuries.

The pilgrimage was closed last year due to the restrictions and this was the largest celebration in Israel since the pandemic began.  

The incident occurred at the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, where mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews gather to celebrate the Lag BaOmer holiday. The accident was caused by a large influx of believers. According to reports, there were three times more people than authorised.

A spokesman for the Israel’s rescue service, said “there were 38 dead at the scene but there were more at the hospital.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a “heavy disaster”.

About six emergency helicopters are involved in the rescue operation to transport the injured to the hospital.

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