United Hatzalah and medical personnel performed CPR on a number of critically injured individuals following the mass casualty incident in Meron that took place near the Toldot Aharon bonfire on Friday morning around 1 AM. In addition, medical volunteers treated dozens more who suffered serious, moderate, and light injuries. Every single doctor, nurse, and social worker, who works in Ziv hospital has been recalled to the emergency room.
United Hatzalah teams on foot treated approximately 150 people for various injuries. Dozens of people are in critical condition. A field hospital is being set up at the site. This is already being called one of the worst disasters in Israel’s history.
Latest Update: 44 Dead, 150 Injured.
It was originally reported that a structure collapsed causing the injuries. MDA reports that many of the injured were the result of massive overcrowding in a closed area. A United Hatzalah volunteer described people falling on top of one another and crushing them. One witness claims police blocked the exit.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yehuda Gottleib who was one of the first responders at the scene of the mass casualty incident in Meron said: “I was on duty when I saw dozens of people fall on top of one another during the collapse. A large number of them were crushed and lost consciousness. I immediately requested backup from the on-site dispatchers and told them to send as many additional volunteers and medical personnel as they could to the scene and that we had dozens of injuries.”
Complete details as to what happened at the event are still unclear.
Israeli news outlets are reporting between 25-44 dead.
The wounded are being taken to multiple hospitals.
CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack who was called in to manage the on-site dispatch said: “This was a very tragic incident, and resulted in the loss of life. Dozens of United Hatzalah volunteers participated in performing CPR and providing medical treatment to dozens of people in varying states of injury. Some of the injured were transported to Ziv hospital in Tzefat and to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya by United Hatzalah ambulance teams.”
Initial reports indicated that numerous people are unconscious and CPR is in progress on a number of individuals who were struck by the building and lost consciousness.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yosef Chaim Ben Tzion who was one of the first responders at the scene and participated in the CPR relayed: “A number of the injured are in critical condition and a large number of people were moderately injured after a grandstand collapsed with dozens of people on it. Doctors, paramedics, and EMTs from United Hatzalah who were providing medical security for the event rushed to respond and initiated CPR on a number of individuals while treating the others for their injuries.”
Due to the nature of the incident, members of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit were dispatched as well in order to deal with those who are suffering from shock and emotional stress reactions.
Chief Paramedic Avi Marcus said: “This was a terrible incident and is one that was very difficult for our responders. Dozens of people were injured, and sadly, numerous people were killed due to the severity of the injuries which they suffered. After the injured were all treated and transported to the hospital, members of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit provided emotional and psychological stabilization to the many people who were suffering from shock after witnessing the event. This was a mass casualty incident on many levels.”
The IDF’s 669 rescue unit has been called to the scene.