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Dozens killed at stampede in Israel during religious celebration

At least 45 people were crushed to death during the Lag Ba’Omer celebrations at the Mount Meron site.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews gather at the grave site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai at Mount Meron as they celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba'Omer, marking the anniversary of the death of the Talmudic sage, approximately 1,900 years ago, Israel, April 29, 2021.

At least 45 people were killed last night when a stampede broke out in a religious mass gathering in the north of Israel. More than 150 people were injured, with some of them in critical condition, including minors.

The incident took place during the Mount Meron religious bonfire-lighting ceremony for the holiday of Lag Ba’Omer. A preliminary investigation by police revealed that some people slipped on the large staircase outside the tomb of sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, where the main celebration took place. This in turn caused panic. More people fell, crushing beneath them others. Most of the dead were said to be from the Jerusalem Toldot Aharon Hassidic sect.

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