Following the death of 18-year-old Yitzhak Samet, who was killed along with 27 year-old Mordechai Gerber by the deadly stampede that occurred at the Bnei Brak funeral of leading haredi Rabbi Shmuel Wosner on Saturday night, the yeshiva (Torah academy) of R' Wosner, Hochmei Lublin, has moved to absolve itself of responsibility.
"Along with all of Israel, we are shocked and appalled by the double disaster, the deaths of these charming young man, of tender age and great kindness," the yeshiva stated on Wednesday. "It is hard to express our grief and there are no words to comfort the bereaved and grieving."
"To repeat that the funeral was planned and organized by professional bodies and we worked according to their instructions," it insisted. "We were and continue to be in constant contact with the bereaved families and all authorized parties."
It is not clear who these "professional bodies" were who organized the funeral.
Samet was one of four who were critically wounded by being trampled during the funeral as some 100,000 mourners surged towards the stretcher bearing the body of Rabbi Wosner.
A police investigation has indicated that due to the massive crowds Samet fell on the stairs at the exit from the Hochmei Lublin Yeshiva as the stretcher was brought out, and was consequently trampled.
He was given medical treatment at the scene by rescue teams before being evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in extremely critical condition, suffering from severe damage to his lungs and suffocation evidently caused by the pressure of the pushing crowd. The blockage of air inflicted brain damage.
The medical teams continued to provide him with medical treatment ever since the incident on Saturday night, but were forced to pronounce his death on Wednesday afternoon.
The funeral began Wednesday in the Toldot Aharon yeshiva in Jerusalem at 3:00 pm, and he will be buried on the Mount of Olives.