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Mount Meron disaster: Thousands donate blood for victims

CM 01/05/2021

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Magen David Adom (MDA) thanked Israelis after over 2,200 units of blood were donated following the tragedy at Mount Meron.At least 45 people were killed on Thursday night after a stampede broke out as massive crowds gathered at the Mount Meron religious bonfire-lighting ceremony for the holiday of Lag Ba’omer.The public was asked to donate blood at special MDA stations set up across the country Friday following the disaster. Within a few hours, crowds gathered and Israelis donated thousands of units for victims of the event and other people in Israeli hospitals, said MDA.Every unit donated can save the lives of three patients, according to MDA who also said that blood expires after just 35 days, asking Israelis to continue to donate.Social media users praised citizens who stepped up to help MDA teams in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. According to a post in a Tel Aviv Facebook group, MDA staff, focused on taking blood as quickly as possible, were helped by two young women who came to give blood, and stayed to help organize the hundreds of people who came to donate after realizing that there was no system in place. The women organized over 400 people waiting in long lines and kept the donation process moving effectively despite having no official role according to the Facebook post. Approximately 90,000 – mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews – thronged to the Mount Meron Thursday for annual Lag Ba’omer commemorations that include all-night prayer, mystical songs and dance. The stampede began near the bonfire of the Toldot Aharon hassidic sect, which is based in Jerusalem.

Some 150 people were injured overnight, with 21 still receiving treatment at various hospitals in the North. Over 250 of ambulances and six helicopters called to the scene to evacuate the injured, according to MDA. The dead included at least five minors under the age of 16.Information about how to donate is available at 03-9101101 and http://www.mdais.org/dam.

Tzvi Joffree contributed to this report.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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