Israeli medical officials said a stampede at a religious festival attended by thousands of Jews in northern Israel have killed 44 people and injured about 150 others early Friday.
The stampede happened during the celebrations of Lag Baomer at Mount Meron.
The stampede happened after midnight but its cause was not discovered immediately.
According to witnesses, the stampede started when large numbers of people who tried to exit the site passed through a narrow tunnel-like passage. People began falling on top of each other near the end of the walkway, as they came down from slippery metal stairs.
Israel’s military has dispatched medical teams and an elite rescue unit to assist in evacuating casualties and provide treatment.
Meanwhile, the emergency medical service said it had evacuated 103 injured people to local hospitals, including more than 20 in severe condition.
The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has referred to the incident as a “great tragedy” and said everyone was praying for the victims.
The incident was described as one of the country’s deadliest civilian disasters.