Video obtained by the Associated Press captured the moment before a deadly stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel, where at least 44 people were killed early Friday, April 30.
In one of the worst peacetime disasters in Israel’s history, at least 45 people reportedly died and more than 150 were injured in a stampede at a Jewish holy site in northern Israel. The stampede apparently began when a walkway collapsed, with tens of thousands of people at the site.
More than 100,000 people, mostly ultra-Orthodox, had gathered in the town of Meron for a massive bonfire-lighting ceremony to mark the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer.
It was the largest public gathering in Israel since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted a few weeks ago as the number of cases plummeted.
Witnesses told media the stampede began about 1 a.m. Friday in a narrow passageway that was slippery from spilled grape juice and water. The passageway was known as a bottleneck at the site.