Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to a deadly crushing incident early Friday that left many people dead or injured, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Tens of thousands of people attended mass gatherings to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron. The Magen David Adom (MDA) rescue service reported the deaths of nearly 44 people as well as the injuries of nearly 100 people according to the report.

MDA spokesman Zaki Heller told YnetNews the crushing was due to overcrowding. “The rescue teams were called to one of the concerts near Bar Yochai’s tomb, where there was a terrible crush near a building. There were dozens trapped on a nearby stand, and it took time to evacuate them. There are fatalities, it is a very terrible tragedy,” he said.

לכבוד התנא: עשרות אלפים בהדלקה המרכזית של תולדות אהרן שמרעידה את הההר מצד לצד

— משה ויסברג (@moshe_nayes) April 29, 2021

A field hospital was set up on the scene by Israeli police, and the Israeli Defense Force’s 669 rescue team arrived on the site to clear the crowds and evacuate the injured.

“הדוחק היה חריג, מראות קשים מאוד”: תיעוד ראשוני מרגעי האסון בהר מירון@rubih67

— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 29, 2021

“A serious disaster on Mount Meron,” Netanyahu said in response to the incident. “We are all praying for the recovery of the injured. I ask to strengthen the rescue forces operating in the area.” (RELATED: ‘Dangerous For Israel’: Former Israeli Ambassador Criticizes Biden’s Potential Iran Deal)

Nearly 100,000 people were in attendance at a concert that led to the overcrowding, The Times of Israel reported. A Zaka emergency rescue officer told a local Israeli news channel they are “trying to locate people who are believed to be missing.” Zaka is a community rescue and recovery emergency response team in Israel.

“Without getting graphic,” he said, “I’ve been with Zaka for decades. I’ve never seen anything like this… We don’t know exactly what happened, but the result is unthinkable.”


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