Two Montrealers among dozens killed in Israel stampede

Two Montrealers were among those killed in a stampede during a religious festival in northern Israel, according to Mayor Valérie Plante.

The incident took place at a religious festival in Mount Meron on Friday, attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews, leaving at least 45 people dead and about 150 injured.

“We are wholeheartedly with the Jewish community of Montreal,” Plante wrote on Twitter. 

“Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims.”

One of the Montreal victims has been identified as Shraga Gestetner by the Consulate General of Israel in Montreal.

Dovi Steinmetz, 21, has also been identified as a victim by Lionel Perez, former opposition leader at Montreal’s city hall.

Perez said his son was close friends with Steinmetz.

The stampede began when large numbers of people trying to exit the site thronged a narrow, tunnel-like passage, according to witnesses and video footage. People began falling on top of each other near the end of the walkway, as they descended slippery metal stairs, witnesses said.

Global Affairs Canada did not immediately return a request for comment.