What caused the stampede in Israel?

ISRAEL has seen one of its worst peacetime tragedies after 44 people were crushed to death and 150 injured today (Friday April 30, 2021).

The disaster unfolded at the festival of Lag B'Omer in Meron, just after midnight. Thousands packed onto Israel's Mount Meron for the largest gathering held in the country since the Covid outbreak began.

What caused the stampede in Israel?

At least 44 people were crushed to death and more than 150 people hurt in a stampede after midnight on Friday (April 30, 2021).

It took place at a mass gathering where crowds were celebrating the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron.

The chaos reportedly ensued when attendees slipped on a narrow metal walkway as thousands tried to leave – causing the deadly crush as bodies piled into each other, injuring at least 150.

An early police investigation revealed that the slip created a "human avalanche", Ynet news reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “a terrible disaster.”

The Magen David Adom rescue service said the tragedy was caused by a crush and overcrowding.

A police official said the tragedy was centered on a slippery walkway, with a metal floor, where crowding was at a height.

Large numbers of participants in a concert had been moving through the walkway, which was on an incline.

An official said many of them “slipped,” falling on those below them and causing a crushing domino effect.

Paramedics treated dozens of people at the scene, including 18 in a serious condition, 2 who were moderately hurt, and 80 lightly injured.

All the wounded were evacuated to hospitals, according to the Times of Israel.

The horrific disaster is considered to be one of the worst peacetime tragedies in Israel’s history.

What other deadly stampedes have taken place around the world?

  • July 2 1990, Saudi Arabia: Some 1,426 pilgrims, mostly Malaysians and Indonesians, die in a huge crush in a tunnel leading to Mecca's holy sites.
  • April 9 1998, Mina, Saudi Arabia: 118 pilgrims die and more than 180 are hurt during the Stoning of Satan ritual.
  • May 9 2001, Accra, Ghana: 126 die at the Accra Sports Stadium after a match between rival teams Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko.
  • February 1 2004, Mina, Saudi Arabia: Some 251 pilgrims are trampled to death in a 27-minute stampede during the Hajj.
  • January 25 2005, Maharashtra, India: Around 300 Hindu pilgrims die in a stampede during a Hindu pilgrimage to the remote Mandhar Devi temple.
  • August 31 2005, Baghdad, Iraq: 1,000 Shia pilgrims are trampled to death or drown in the Tigris River after rumours of a suicide bombing sparked panic.
  • January 12 2006, Mina, Saudi Arabia: At least 364 die in a crush during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • August 3 2008, Himachal Pradesh, India: 140 people die in a stampede at a hilltop Hindu temple in northern India. A rain shelter on a mountain path to the Nainadevi temple collapsed.
  • September 30 2008, Rajasthan, India: More than 220 people die in a stampede at the Chamunda Devi Hindu temple.
  • November 22 2010, Phnom Penh, Cambodia: More than 375 people die in a stampede on a bridge on the Tonle Sap river during celebrations of the annual Water Festival.
  • January 14 2011, Kerala, India: Some 102 pilgrims are crushed to death while returning from the remote, mountain based Hindu shrine of Sabarimala
  • October 14 2013, Madhya Pradesh, India: At least 115 people die in a stampede near the Ratangarh temple after panic broke out on a bridge. Hundreds of thousands had gathered for the Hindu festival of Navatri.
  • September 24 2015, Mina, Saudi Arabia: More than 700 people taking part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage die in a stampede near Mecca.
  • January 7 2020, Kerman, Iran: At least 56 people killed and 200 injured in a stampede at the funeral of general Qasem Soleimani in Kerman, Iran.
  • October 21 2020, Jalalabad City, Afghanistan: At least 15 killed (11 Women) and many more injured in a stampede at a stadium in Jalalabad, after thousands of people gathered to apply for permits to Pakistan

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