Yeshiva World News
Two yeshivah bochurim testified to the state commission of inquiry in the Meron disaster on Sunday.
Michoel Shimon Friedman was in the “passageway of death” during those terrible moments on the night of the disaster.
“Suddenly you couldn’t get out because everyone was pushing you,” he said. “I felt like I was being held up in the air. I started moving inside the passageway and there was an insane amount of pressure. I wanted to catch hold of the railing. I felt like I couldn’t move left or right. I had a bottle of water and I dropped it so I could manage to hold myself up.”
At this point, Friedman burst into tears and struggled to continue. He was offered water and he managed to compose himself and continue. “There was a gate that I tried to grab hold of but I didn’t succeed. I was dragged and dragged almost to the end of the passageway. I was at the gate and my leg was crushed. It was terrible. There was a person below me screaming. The gate was exposed and it was sticking into my leg and I realized it was also penetrating his leg.”
“Everyone was screeching and there was a section where it was possible to exit – a high wall where people opened this white thing. Someone managed to get out and I asked him to pull me and he said: ‘I can’t, I can’t.’”
The judges asked him how he managed to get out at the end and Friedman replied: “After a few minutes, people came and began to pull people out. I felt someone trying to get up from over me and he left a little bit of space. I asked him to pull me and he pulled me out.”
“I went up – to where MDA was…I couldn’t feel my leg at all. They put me in an ambulance and evacuated me to the hospital in Nahariya and I was there all night, alone.”
Earlier, Eliyahu Hominer, another yeshivah bochur who was in the passageway of death, testified to the commission. “We saw people beginning to fall,” he said. “People fell into my hands. I didn’t have a chance, I fell on them, others lay on top of me. There were people who tried to rescue me but they couldn’t manage. The pressure got worse and worse from moment to moment”
“I thought it was the end. I was there for a long time and I threw up. People yelled out ‘Shema Yisrael,’ some stopped in the middle. After a quarter of an hour, I felt the pressure being relieved and Hatzalah paramedics came and pulled me out.”