At least 44 people have been killed and about 150 injured in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the northeast of Israel. It was attended by tens of thousands of people, which takes place annually at the foot of Mount Meron.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a ‘heavy disaster’ and said he was praying for the casualties.
“Unfortunately, we found small children trampled there, and we performed CPR. We were able to save some of them,” said, Eli Beer, the director of an Israeli volunteer ambulance service. There more six people were in critical condition and 18 in serious condition.
Earlier in the day, officials said they were not able to enforce coronavirus restrictions at the site due to the huge crowds. Police also informed they had arrested two people for disrupting their efforts to keep order before the crush occurred.
Dozens of ambulances have arrived at the scene and emergency services laid out bodies under foil covers on the ground. Lots of videos posted online show thousands of people struggling to flee the chaos through a narrow passageway.