דרישות כבאות והצלה לפני ההילולה בהר מירון
Israel Fire and Rescue Services report ignored ahead of Meron Disaster
Israel Fire and Rescue Services report ignored ahead of Meron Disaster

Meron event organizers ignored major safety report days before disaster

Report ordered organizers of the festivities at the Toldos Aharon compound, where the stampede occured, to have 4 passageways if the number of participants exceeds 9,000; 20,000 were inside when stampede occured but only one exit was open

Eli Senior |
Published: 05.03.21, 15:30
Organizers of the Mount Meron festival, which ended in a deadly stampede, appeared to have ignored a major safety report on the religious site, issued just eight days before the disaster.
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  • The stampede that broke out at the Lag BaOmer festivities on Mount Meron overnight Thursday claimed the lives of 45 worshippers, including 10 children, becoming the worst civilian disaster in the country's history.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    דרישות כבאות והצלה לפני ההילולה בהר מירון
    דרישות כבאות והצלה לפני ההילולה בהר מירון
    Israel Fire and Rescue Services report ignored ahead of Meron Disaster
    The National Fire and Rescue Services report, which was seen by Ynet, demanded that two separate paths be prepared to regulate the passage of people in and out of the Toldos Aharon compound, where the stampede occurred.
    The report specified that if the number of worshipers in the compound was to exceed 9,000, four passageways in and out of the compound would be needed.
    During last week's festivities, there was only one passageway open and the crush that took place killed 45 people and injured 150 others.
    The National Fire and Rescue Services is responsible by law for safety regulations in mass events held outdoors and its officials send their report to the Hassidic Toldos Aharon group, who were responsible for the festivities on the compound, and to their representative Zvi Heller.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    הפסולת והכיפות שעל הרצפה לאחר ההילולה
    הפסולת והכיפות שעל הרצפה לאחר ההילולה
    Site of the human stamped that resulted in the death of 45 people on Mount Meron on Thursday
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    In the four-page report, the fire and rescue officials detailed dozens of steps that must be taken to safeguard the compound ahead the event.
    Besides fire safety restrictions and fire-fighting equipment that must be in place, the report specified the emergency escape routes that must be prepared, including "an adequate road for the use of emergency vehicles that must be cleared from any obstructions". The report assigned the organizers of the event as those who are responsible for compliance with the written demands.
    In item "Number 7" of the report, the Fire and Rescue Services said the danger of the compound's single passageway. "In the specified area outside the structure, there must be at least two separate passageways.
    "In case of over 6,000 participants, three passageways must be in place and in case of 9,000 participants, four passageways must be available."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    המוני מתפללים בהר מירון
    המוני מתפללים בהר מירון
    Thousand attend Mount Meron Lag BaOmer festivities before the disaster that killed 45 people on Thursday
    (Photo: AFP)
    The organizers of the festivities at the Toldos Aharon compound assured the Fire and Rescue Services officials, who inspected the site before issuing the report, that no more than 5,000 people would attend but on the night of the disaster, an estimated 20,000 people were inside the compound and only one passageway in and out of the compound was open.
    The report will be at the heart of the Justice Ministry probe into the police conduct and will be part of any further investigation into the disaster.

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