Israel launches investigation into deadly Jewish festival stampede
Tel Aviv, August 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) An Israeli state commission charged with investigating April’s deadly stampede at a Jewish festival has held its first hearing.
The government-appointed commission began proceedings on Sunday to determine what led to the Mount Meron accident in northern Israel in which 45 people were crushed to death as a passage collapsed, reports the Xinhua News Agency.
The panel, led by former Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor, heard testimony from Northern District Police Chief Shimon Lavi, the officer in charge of the event.
Lavi told the committee that the annual festival is “the most important event for the Israel Police,” requiring considerable planning, preparation and resources.
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Lavi said that only a day before the festival he learned that “the event will be held without any limitations related to the coronavirus.”
The proceedings of the committee are open to the public and broadcast live.
On April 30, tens of thousands of people gathered for a traditional holiday marking the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.
The scramble is believed to start when people move through a narrow passage with slippery metal floor.
According to official figures, 45 people, including children, were killed and 102 others were injured.
It was the deadliest civil accident in Israel’s history.