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2 dead, more than 200 hurt after stand collapses during prayer in synagogue near Jerusalem

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

Casualties being evacuated after a synagogue stand collapsed during prayer service in the Givat Zeev suburb of Jerusalem, May 16, 2021.
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90Casualties being evacuated after a synagogue stand collapsed during prayer service in the Givat Zeev suburb of Jerusalem, May 16, 2021.

The structure was 'under construction,' officials says

Two worshipers died and at least 200 were injured on Friday as a grandstand collapsed during a busy prayer service at a synagogue in Givat Ze'ev, outside Jerusalem. 

"Medics and paramedics provide medical care to about 60 injured, including about 10 in critical and severe condition," the Magen David Adom emergency services said. 

Later, MDA said a man in his 40s and a 12-year-old boy died in the incident, as the number of reported injured rose.

The incident occurred as hundreds congregated for the Jewish Shavuot feast.

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The Israel Defense Forces said its 669 unit, as well as other search and rescue and medical crews, deployed to Givat Ze'ev to assist in rescue efforts.

The Karlin synagogue, the where the grandstand collapsed, was unfinished according to police. Jerusalem district police chief Doron Turjeman said the municipality was warned that the building was unsuitable to host gatherings or prayers.

The Israel Police said the Tel Aviv's fraud unit would investigate alleged negligence.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "praying" for the victims of the tragedy, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz releasing a similar statement.

This comes after the Mount Meron tragedy on April 30, in which 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews were crushed to death due to inadequate room and facilities to hold the sheer number of pilgrims arriving to the site for Lag B'Omer.