Israel religious festival crush kills 45
On Friday in Israel, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people attended a religious celebration at Mount Meron for the Lag B’Omer holiday. The holiday is celebrated through singing, dancing, and lighting fires in homage to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai at his burial site. At some point during the event, a stampede broke out, ultimately killing 45 people. The US State Department confirmed that multiple US citizens were among those killed and injured in the stampede.
Israel’s health ministry had urged people not to attend the festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the high risk of spreading the virus. Case numbers in Israel have been low and 58% of the population is vaccinated, however, promoting the country to allow the celebration to occur. Israel has launched an investigation into exactly what happened at the site on Friday. The initial cause of the stampede is unclear at this time.
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