At least two people have died and at least 167 have been injured after a tiered seating structure collapsed at Karlin sinagogue, a partly built synagogue north of Jerusalem, Sunday, during a ceremony in West Bank to mark the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. A large stand inside the synagogue fell. People falled on top of each other. Worshippers were supposed to be trapped under the bleachers. All the victims were men or boys. Israeli emergency services responded to the “mass casualty event”. The wounded, some seriously injured, were taken to hospitals in Jerusalem. Medics later confirmed the deaths of a 40-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy.
Police and local officials said organisers had been warned that the building was unsafe and the event had taken place despite a lack of permits. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was praying for the injured. “We were called again to another event where there was negligence and a lack of responsibility. There will be arrests,” Jerusalem district police chief Doron Turgeman told media. Shavuot is a Jewish festival that occurs seven weeks following Passover to commemorate the giving of the Torah. The incident came 16 days after the Meron disaster, in which 45 people were crushed to death during a mass gathering of mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron.