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A New Jersey teenager has been identified as one of six Americans and four residents of the New York metro area killed in the deadly escape during a religious holiday in Israel last week.
Donny Morris, 19, was studying in Israel when he was surprised by a crowd at the annual Lag Ba’omer festival at the foot of Mount Meron on Thursday night and is among 45 people known to have died in the tragedy., NBC News reported on Sunday.
NJ teen, Donny Morris, identified among Americans killed in Israel stampede https://t.co/xGWqy44fVN
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Three other residents of the neighborhood, Menachem Knoblowitz from Borough Park, Yosef Amram from Monsey and Eliezer Josef from Kiryas Joel, have reportedly been identified as victims of the horrific “human avalanche”.
“There are four families in the New York area that we are in contact with, and the New York consulate is helping them,” said Lior Haiat, a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
“There are two other families from Canada and one from Argentina and we are also in contact with their families,” Haiat said.
Authorities said they were still working to determine if other Americans had died.
In addition to the dead, more than 100 people were injured on Friday during the festival, which draws tens of thousands of people, most of them ultra-Orthodox Jews, to the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a revered former Jewish mystic.
Israel’s health ministry said 32 of the dead were identified as of Friday evening, but said Jewish Saturday suspended the trial until Sunday morning, NBC said.
Commander Shimon Lavi, the police officer in charge of security measures for this year’s festival, said on Friday that he had taken “overall responsibility” for the tragedy.
Police reportedly briefly blocked a staircase at the foot of a passage through which festival-goers were trying to escape.
The stampede came after a grandstand collapsed at the foot of Mount Meron, forcing hundreds to try to escape, but many were trampled on.
On Saturday, dozens of Israelis, many of whom were furious at the tragedy, held a vigil of “silent rage” outside the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.