Israel rescue spokesman: Stampede is "national catastrophe"


The stampede that killed 44 people at an Israeli religious festival is a "national catastrophe", a spokesman for Israel's emergency rescue service Zaka said on Friday. "It is an unbearable incident," Motti Buckchin told Israeli news site ynet.

"44 people who wanted to experience joy and they come back in body bags," he said. "44 families for whom the world is collapsing. We cannot simply go back to business as usual now."


Around 150 people were also injured in the crush, rescue group Magen David Adom said. The identification of victims began on Friday morning, as local media reported people were still looking for missing relatives.

It is expected that many of the victims will be buried during the day – before the start of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.    (dpa)

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