60 people injured in bleacher collapse at Israeli synagogue

AP , Sunday 16 May 2021

Israeli medics say some 60 people were injured, including 10 in serious or critical condition in a bleacher collapse in a West Bank synagogue

A bleacher collapse at Israeli synagogue. AFP
Medics and members of the Israeli security forces evacuate an injured child after the collapse of grandstand seating at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev in the occupied West Bank outside Jerusalem, on May 16, 2021, that left at least 60 people injured. AFP

A bleacher packed with worshippers collapsed in a West Bank synagogue on Sunday on the eve of a major Jewish holiday, wounding dozens of people, medics said.

Amateur footage showed the stands collapsing during prayers at the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. The synagogue in Givat Zeev, just north of Jerusalem, was filled with hundreds of ultra-Orthodox worshippers.

Israeli TV stations showed rows of rescue vehicles lined up in the town as medics evacuated the wounded on stretchers.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said some 60 people were injured, including 10 in serious or critical condition.

The accident came weeks after a stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel killed 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The stampede triggered renewed criticism over the broad autonomy granted to the country's politically powerful ultra-Orthodox minority.

Last year, many ultra-Orthodox communities flouted coronavirus safety restrictions, contributing to high outbreak rates in their communities and angering the broader secular public.

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