Magen David Adom (MDA) has released radio recordings of the moments after the Meron disaster began, bringing the public a bone-chilling look at the incident as it unfolded. The recordings begin with a calm control operator answering a call, only to hear the nearly hysterical shouts of a paramedic on scene.
“We have a mass casualty incident in the Meron area!” shouts the paramedic. The operator attempts to calm him.
“Wait a minute,” she asks carefully. “How many are injured?”
“We’re talking about at least seven dead!” the paramedic shouts over a rising clamor behind him. “Ten! Eleven!”
“Eleven dead?” asks the incredulous operator. “How many injured?”
“Something like forty!” he answers, shouting over a rising tide of crowd-control directions being yelled in the background. “Twelve dead now!”
“Twelve dead - how many more injured?” the operator asks, trying to keep up with events.
“I don’t know! Fourteen dead now!” the paramedic answers.
The recording then switches from the telephone line to that of the MDA’s radio network, with the incident commander calling out a mass casualty incident at the Meron area at the Toldos Aharon bonfire area. A regional broadcast center picks up the direction, repeating it for all MDA units in Israel’s north.
“Attention all units, there is a mass casualty incident in the Meron area, anyone available is needed immediately.” Another regional call center radios in shortly afterwards.
“Jordan command center here, be advised, there are at least ten casualties, all ages, in the upper grandstands near the courtyard. Anyone available is needed for immediate evacuation. Coordinate your work with the police.”