Probe of Meron incident finds: Ambulances blocked from entering

Ministry of Health's investigation into Meron disaster finds failures and problems in how injured were cared for.

Ben Ariel ,

Meron disaster
Meron disaster
David Cohen/Flash 90

Health Ministry officials gathered on Tuesday, five days after the disaster in Meron, for a meeting in which they tried to investigate the manner in which the dozens of victims of the disaster were treated.

Parts of the investigation were revealed by Channel 13 News on Tuesday evening, from which it emerged, among other things, that the announcement to the emergency services about the unusual incident in Meron arrived at 1:19 a.m., about twenty minutes after the incident.

The investigation also revealed that 40 victims were evacuated to the emergency room at Ziv Hospital in Tzfat, the city closest to Meron, even though the emergency room of the small hospital contains only 20 beds.

"Nahariya Hospital was waiting to receive injured people at a higher level than it received, but they did not arrive even though the hospital was prepared for it," said Rafi Golani, head of the emergency department at the Ministry of Health.

While helicopters were dispatched to the scene for the purpose of evacuating the seriously injured to hospitals in the center of the country, according to the Ministry of Health's investigation, Sheba, Beilinson and Ichilov Hospitals were not prepared to receive them. The three hospitals denied the claims of the Ministry of Health.

The investigation also raised the issue of rivalry between the rescue organizations, Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah, as it became clear that at 4:19 a.m. there was a conversation with the Israel Police, during which allegations were made about the difficulty of evacuating the bodies from the site in Meron.

In documentation obtained by Channel 13 News, ambulances can be seen evacuating the injured, but not allowed to return and treat other injured people who are still at the compound. "We were not allowed to enter the site, the police blocked us," the paramedics claimed.

In response, the Israel Police stated, "During the disaster, the police regulated dozens of ambulances and medical personnel who constantly flowed into the area. Unnecessary travels of ambulances on the emergency routes were blocked to allow for evacuation, all in order to evacuate the injured as quickly as possible to hospitals."

CLICK HERE TO HELP THE FAMILIES OF THE MERON TRAGEDY VICTIMS THROUGH VAAD HARABBANIM

CLICK HERE TO HELP THE FAMILIES OF THE MERON TRAGEDY VICTIMS THROUGH KUPAT HAIR



top