In Israel, at least 44 people died in a stampede after a grandstand collapsed at a Jewish pilgrimage site in the northern side of the nation, local media reported. At least tens of thousands of Jews were participating in the feast of Lag BaOmer in the annual pilgrimage on Thursday. After midnight, a grandstand collapsed, creating scenes of panic and stampede.
Emergency services deployed helicopters to evacuate people injured in the incident. On Twitter Magen David Adom, the Israeli emergency service, said, "MDA is fighting for the lives of dozens wounded, and will not give up until the last victim is evacuated."
In Israel's largest public gathering during the coronavirus pandemic, people had gathered for the feast of Lag BaOmer is staged in Meron around the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century Talmudic sage.
Authorities had authorised 10,000 people to gather at the site of the tomb but organisers said more than 650 buses had been chartered from across the country, bringing 30,000 pilgrims to Meron.