An Israeli police official who oversaw the security arrangements for the massive religious celebration where 45 people were killed in a stampede on Friday said he took responsibility for the disaster, according to a report.
“I bear overall responsibility, for better or worse, and am ready for any investigation,” Shimon Lavi, commander of the Northern District, told reporters hours after the tragedy, the Times of Israel reported.
Eyewitnesses accused police of blocking a key exit route at the bottom of a narrow passageway, which had for years been seen as a dangerous potential bottleneck, but Lavi said the exact cause of the tragedy is under investigation.
Early indications were that the fatal crushing occurred when large numbers of people, mostly ultra-Orthodox men, moved through the slanting walkway on the exit route from the Mount Meron site during the annual Lag Ba’omer festivities.
Commander Shimon Lavi reportedly said that he bears “overall responsibility” for the tragedy.Wikimedia
People began to trip