A 4-year-old child was killed, and nine others were injured in a rockslide on Thursday at Nahal David in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve near the Dead Sea.
One of the wounded was listed in serious condition, while three others, including a 4-year-old girl, were in moderate condition and another five sustained mild injuries. In addition to the deceased, three other children were injured in the rockslide.
Two of the wounded children were airlifted to the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel, while others were treated on-site. Extensive searches were carried out in the nature reserve to rule out the possibility of any additional trapped individuals. All casualties were members of two families who were trekking in the nature reserve.
The Nahal David area has been temporarily closed by the Nature and Parks Authority, and all visitors were promptly evacuated. The police are urging anyone planning to visit the site to postpone their trip for the time being. Additionally, Route 90 in both directions, north and south-bound, has been closed in the vicinity.
Three Israeli Air Force helicopters were scrambled to help with evacuation efforts, along with IDF Special Tactics Rescue Unit 669 and several civilian search and rescue organizations. According to a preliminary IDF probe, at least 15 individuals were hurt in the incident, 10 of whom were trapped beneath the rubble.
The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is one of Israel's most popular outdoor attractions, registering around 580,000 visitors last year alone, third only to the Caesarea National Park and the Ashkelon National Park.
Late August is typically the busiest time of year for the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and the site is especially popular with families.