Two killed, 167 injured after synagogue grandstand collapses on Shavuot

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Two killed, 167 injured after synagogue grandstand collapses on Shavuot

The accident happened at a partially-constructed building during an event that did not have a permit, officials said

Two people died and 167 people were hurt, five of them seriously, after a stand holding up dozens of worshippers collapsed during a Shavuot celebration on Sunday night.

The accident happened at a synagogue that was still under construction in the settlement of Givat Zeev in the West Bank.

It raised more questions about safety measures at large strictly-Orthodox events, happening mere weeks after 45 people died in a crush at Lag B’Omer celebrations in northern Israel.

A police spokesman said 650 worshippers were at the site to mark Shavuot on Sunday.

Security footage showed a crowded grandstand collapsing and worshippers falling on top of each other.

The local mayor and senior fire brigade and police officers said the event had gone ahead despite the lack of a permit and official warnings that the building zone was unsafe.

“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 a live broadcast on Israel’s Channel 12.

A spokesman for the Magen David Adom said at least two people were killed.

Ambulances and military helicopters ferried the injured to hospitals.

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