A NEW Jersey student, 19, is among those missing following the disaster at Meron.
Student Daniel Morris, 19, has been missing after separating from his friends during the Jewish festival, where 44 people were crushed to death.
At least 45 people were crushed to death during the festival[/caption]
19-year-old Daniel Morris is missing[/caption]
Israel’s consul general in New York Dani Dayan said the 19-year-old student has not been located yet, report the Times of Israel.
Shocking footage showed panicked crowds funnelled into a tunnel during the festival of Lag B’Omer.
Thousands of people flooded Mount Meron for the largest gathering in the country since the Covid outbreak.
The stampede reportedly started when some slipped on a narrow metal walkway as thousands tried to leave.
The crush caused bodies piled into each other, injuring at least 150.
An early police investigation revealed that the slip created a “human avalanche”, Ynet news reported.
While only 10,000 people were supposed to attend the event, a crowd of 100,000 turned up.
Eli Beer, the head of the Hatzalah rescue services organisation, said young children were among the victims.
“To my sorrow, we found small children who had been crushed, we tried to resuscitate them and managed in a few cases to save them,” he said.
“We have to wake up, it’s shocking how many people were allowed to enter.”
Witness Zohar said he saw victims “lose the colour in their faces”.
“I was under the bleachers, I tried to go up toward all the chaos when I heard banging above, thud, thud, and people shouting ‘escape, escape, people are dying,’” he said.
The chaos was caused by overcrowding[/caption]
“People fell from above and crushed each other, they squashed each other. people just fell, I will never forget the banging sounds, people flying all over.
“We were walking out, everything was flowing, suddenly it stopped.
“Everyone was pressed up against each other and we did not understand why.
“I lifted up my head and I saw police blocking the entrance, I shouted to them ‘people are dying here.’”
A probe has been launched into the possibility that police negligence caused the stampede.
Investigators have been sent to Meron to gather evidence.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said: “It was decided that the Police Internal Investigations Department will immediately examine whether there are suspicions of criminality by police in the tragedy in Meron.”
Paramedic Dov Maisel described “chaotic” scenes as rescuers desperately scrambled to save as many lives as they could.
He told Good Morning Britain: “I started hearing screaming and shouting… and immediately all the teams were alerted to the scene.
“It’s so troubling… many kids and teenagers were injured as well and families separated, it’s chaos.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the tragedy as a “heavy disaster”.
MDA spokesman Zaki Heller told Ynet news that the deaths were caused by severe overcrowding.
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He said that due to the overcrowding, it took some time to help people who had been trapped.
“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.”