450 hurt at Meron, around country on Lag Ba’omer

Many people at Meron complained that the transportation system had buckled under the heavy load of visitors.

April 30, 2013 04:35
1 minute read.
Lag B'aomer

Lag B'aomer. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

More than 450 people were injured or taken ill during the more-than-two-day Lag Ba’omer celebrations atop Mount Meron in the Galilee, MDA said on Monday.

Dozens were hospitalized for further treatment at Safed’s Ziv Medical Center after receiving treatment from Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah medics.

At La Ba’omer bonfires around the country, more than 60 additional individuals were injured. MDA said that in addition to skin burns, smoke inhalation, falls, excessive alcohol consumption and physical trauma from incidents of violence, many fainted from dehydration due to the searing heat, and 34 had to be hospitalized.

Among those injured at Meron was a 45-year-old man in moderate-to-serious condition from smoke inhalation and burns on his extremities. Another was a 17-year-old youth from Ashdod who suffered burns on his face and upper body.

Most of the rest suffered light injuries or were in good condition after treatment.

A few hundred thousand people are estimated to have visited the burial site on the mountain of the kabbalist Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yohai.

More than 300 paramedics, medics and doctors were stationed at Meron during the holiday celebrations.

This year’s number of casualties was significantly higher than last year’s (when “only” 150 were injured at Meron), due to the Chief Rabbinate “postponement” of celebrations from Saturday night to avoid Shabbat desecration.

Despite the rabbinate’s injunction, bonfires were lit on Saturday night and through Monday, and some even on Friday, greatly increasing the risk of injuries and damage.

Many people at Meron complained that the transportation system had buckled under the heavy load of visitors, forcing people to walk kilometers to the site in heavy heat, and that garbage collection was extremely limited.

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