At least ten of the 45 people who died in tribulation yesterday at a Jewish religious feast in Northern Israel were children. The victims were not only Israeli but also Canadian, American and Argentine, it appears after identification of most people.
Of 32 out of 45 people printed to death, Israeli media writes their identity. The youngest victim is a 9-year-old boy. Two families each lost two children in the disaster on the night from Thursday to Friday. Sixteen wounded are still in hospital, three of them are in bad shape.
During the celebration of Lag Baomer, thousands of Orthodox Jews broke out due to unknown cause. Some eyewitnesses say that the chaos arose after a number of people fell down the narrow streets of a staircase. It would have been slippery on the stairs and floor because of spilled drinks.
Through social media, these images of the incident came out:
A paramedic described on TV that he found a “wall of bodies” on the spot. It took about 40 minutes for all the dead and wounded to be removed. He called it “one of the worst, if not the worst incident” that he had experienced in his thirty years as an aid worker.
In Israeli society, the call for a comprehensive investigation into the disaster is becoming increasingly louder. Experts have been warning for years that the religious feast is a danger because of the large masses of people and narrow passages. In 2008, a government inspection service also came to the same conclusion.
The coronapandemic provides an extra dimension to the criticism. People want to know why the authorities allowed the festival to continue with around 100,000 visitors. Those numbers are many times higher than what is officially allowed because of corona.
The Department of Justice has begun an investigation into possible misconduct by the officers. Police barricades blocked the flow in crucial places, claims a number of eyewitnesses.
Because of the disaster, a national day of mourning has been declared for tomorrow.