• Stampede At Jewish Festival In Israel Kills At Least 44
[Anchor]

Emergency workers in Israel say at least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a stampede at a Jewish festival.

Tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews had gathered in the north of the country to celebrate.

The BBC's Steve Jackson reports.

[Reporter]

Pictures of the festival on Mount Meron show a long line of body bags lying on the ground.

There were chaotic scenes as emergency workers struggled to remove injured people through dense crowds.

The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has described it as a serious disaster.

Israeli troops have been deployed to assist with the rescue operation.

Anxious relatives have been trying to phone family members at the event but some cellphone networks are said to be down.

This was the largest single gathering in Israel since the start of the pandemic.

Fears had been expressed beforehand that the crowds could spread the virus.



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