Meron Safety Engineers: “Police Ignored Recommendations We Made Months Ago”

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Police at scene of Meron disaster.

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The two safety engineers detained for questioning on their role in the Meron disaster placed the blame for the tragic incident squarely on the shoulders of the police, Yisrael Hayom reported.

During their interrogation, the engineers asserted that they faithfully and professionally fulfilled their jobs but their recommendations were not implemented by the police. “The disaster happened only because the police chose to ignore the professionals despite the fact that the police themselves required the organizers to hire safety professionals.”

The engineers said that they transferred a report of the safety pitfalls at the site to the police as early as April 25. According to documents that were revealed in the Yisrael Hayom report for the first time, the safety engineers demanded as early as January that all the hadlakos at Meron be carried out at the same time in order to prevent large amounts of people from moving from place to place. [In other words, if the Toldos Aharon hadkaka had taken place at the same time as all the other hadlakos, it wouldn’t have been so terribly crowded.] Unfortunately, this recommendation was not heeded.

“We warned about crowding not because of COVID but because of Shabbat,” the engineers said. “We estimated that masses of people would arrive all at once and that’s what happened.” [Since Lag B’Omer was on Erev Shabbos, everyone needed to get to Meron early in order to return home before Shabbos.]

Furthermore, following a safety assessment of Meron last month, the safety engineer sent a letter on April 26 to the police officer at the Northern Police District responsible for licensing and security, stating that a balcony erected on the site “narrowed the entrance of the emergency exit leading to the Toldos Aharon [stairs]. In an emergency, this obstacle poses a danger and can lead to a bottleneck.”

The safety engineer further warned in the letter that “due to the expected large crowds, all emergency exits must be accessible.”

The safety engineers’ lawyers issued a statement saying: “It is very unfortunate that instead of putting their own house in order, the police are seeking scapegoats.”

“Our clients recommended in writing to various parties to carry out actions to reduce the safety risks at the site. The written recommendations were submitted months before the event. Ultimately it seems that the recommendations were rejected due to pressure from various parties of interest, who were vocal then and are silent today. The conduct of our clients was never lacking. They are experienced professionals who did their work in the best way possible but whose recommendations were not heeded.”

Following their interrogation, the engineers were released to house arrest for five days, according to a statement by the police.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


7 COMMENTS

  1. The real person responsible is a guy named Avraham Freulach, who is the head of the Ashkenazi Hekdesh in charge of Har Meron and without whom nothing can get done. He is also a crazy brisker.
    He was offered 20 million shekels by Israel, no strings attached, to renovate Meron in order to make it safe. He turned it down, refusing to take money “from the Zionists”. His personal chumra resulted in 45 deaths.
    The police are not responsible for the tragedy. It is the hekdeshos who are on charge and refused to renovate and let the state take over. They make millions of dollars off Meron. Every penny not spent on safety goes into their pockets.

  2. house arrest!
    how about arrest the police that locked the gates
    the israeli police have got to be the lowest life forms on earth

  3. Why aren’t the wicked police who ignored these professional engineers’ advice under house arrest instead of these professional engineers who performed their duties dutifully?

  4. all emergency exits must be accessible.” BOTTOM LINE is that as long as there arent any blocked walkways the crowd keeps milling and the pressure doesnt build up like a damn- even big levayos as long as it can move it flows with nisim once you hold it up & than open the flood gates …
    but even so the real question is why did we lose the shemira elyona this year?

  5. Why is no one talking about the police blocking the exit? People were beginning for their lives and the police held them behind a barrier.

    Why was this conversation shut down??

  6. Of course.
    In the Zionist paradise, their police cause 45 people to die, then they go after the engineers and keep them stuck at home. Amazing.