30 suffer burns from a bonfire explosion at Jewish celebration in London
Some reports suggest that mobile phones that had been thrown onto the fire had exploded during the celebrations
Thirty people were gravely injured in an explosion that occurred during a Jewish celebration. Witnesses said that it happened due to mobile phones which were being thrown into the bonfire.
Throngs of Jewish people gathered near Stamford Hill, London to celebrate the annual festival of Lag BaOmer, an event which features bonfires as part of a tradition.
In a footage recovered by the media, one can see revelers singing while a fire about to be lit just meters away from them, reported Express UK.
In a sudden moment, there is a massive explosion that has people running for their lives with flames spanning the crowd.
Firefighters are reminding Londoners to take extra care this evening when celebrating the Jewish festival, Lag B'Omer, following numerous calls to bonfires in the #StamfordHill area last night https://t.co/pohJgvCNlP © @999London pic.twitter.com/jxfN6YKGJ6— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) May 3, 2018
The bonfire, which was allegedly soaked in oil, erupts violently as a torch is used to ignite the flame, engulfing those standing closest in raging fire.
Upon dialing for help, the Jewish volunteer ambulance service along with the London Ambulance Service respond to the scene around 11 pm on Wednesday.
The Jewish volunteer ambulance service Hatzola responds to emergency calls in north and east London. On Wednesday night, it sent a "mega response team" to the scene.
"We have a long-standing, mutually respectful working relationship, and together we help to save lives," it added on Twitter.
Paramedics told reporters that they treated a multitude of patients for burns.
Tonight we have assisted @Hatzola dealing with multiple patients.— LondonAmbulance HART (@LAS_HART) May 2, 2018
Hatzola is a volunteer ambulance service in the community.
We have a long-standing, mutually respectful working relationship, and together we help to save lives.@Ldn_Ambulance @LAS_HART @Hatzola pic.twitter.com/0dlxfB988j
According to Jewish news website Yeshiva World, about ten people are believed to have been directly hurt by the roaring fireball, and 20 people were injured as they struggled to get away from the flames.
Today morning, it was confirmed that ten people had suffered minor injuries from getting burnt by the out-of-control bonfire at Stamford Hill, according to Hackney police.
As of now, no criminal allegations have been reported and no casualties recorded.
However, the condition of the patients could not be immediately known last night.
Numerous unconfirmed reports by witnesses claim that the explosion occurred after electronic devices such as mobile phones were thrown into the fire.
Many claimed that the rabbi, leader of the Chassidic Jewish movement, was explaining the dangers of the technology used in smartphones and this led to multiple believers throwing their phones into the roaring bonfire.
However, another witness added: "It appears that the explosion was caused by fuel and not the smartphone, although there definitely were multiple smartphones placed inside the pile to be burned."
View from Police helicopter over the Meron mountain in the north during celebrations that took place for Jewish fire day. (Lag baomer) pic.twitter.com/CE2MooWZwa— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) May 3, 2018
Lag BaOmer is one of the minor holidays in the Jewish calendar. It falls between Passover and Shavuot, a 49-day period called Omer when weddings and haircuts are prohibited.
Traditionally marked by lighting bonfires, Lag BaOmer is the only day in Omer when Jews are permitted to get married or have a haircut.