A five-year-old boy was killed and eight other people were injured Thursday morning when a rockslide sent boulders crashing down on tourists hiking at the Nachal David stream in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the shores of the Dead Sea.
A mass casualty event was declared at the popular Judean Desert hiking spot, where a local source told JewishPress.com that the rocks tumbled down from above the hiking path near the water.
Magen David Adom emergency medics worked to resuscitate the little boy but were forced to declare his death at the site; in addition, a four-year-old girl was moderately injured. Seven others sustained milder injuries.
Nachal David was closed immediately and visitors to the site were evacuated.
Staff from the nature reserve and MDA medics were joined by specialized rescue units at the site.
מסוקים צבאיים עם כוחות מיחידה 669 וכוחות רפואה של חטיבת הבקעה והעמקים הוזנקו לנחל דוד שבאזור עין גדי לפני זמן קצר לטובת סיוע בחילוץ לכודים
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 24, 2023
Military helicopters with forces from the IDF’s elite Unit 669 and medical forces of the Bekaa and Emekim Brigade were launched into the area to assist in the rescue of those who were trapped, the IDF said.
United Hatzalah dispatched its Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) to the scene to help as well.
NOTE: The Nachal Ergot nature reserve remained open along with the excavated ancient synagogue located closer to Kibbutz Ein Gedi.