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Phone blast in London injure 30 at Jewish celebration

The Sun, UK

Up to 30 people have been injured after an explosion during a Jewish celebration – with witnesses claiming it was sparked by mobile phones being thrown to the flames.

Hundreds had gathered in Stamford Hill, London for Lag BaOmer – an annual event that incorporates bonfires – when it went horribly wrong.

Dramatic footage shows a fire about to be lit, as revellers sing in the background just metres away last night.

Suddenly there is a massive explosion as flames erupt over the entire crowd, with people running for their lives.

London Ambulance Service and the Jewish volunteer ambulance service Hatzola attended at around 11pm.

Both said they treated “multiple patients” for burns.

Around ten people are believed to have been hurt by the flames, with a further 20 people injured in the scramble to get away, according to Jewish news website Yeshiva World.

Hackney Police this morning confirmed ten people have suffered minor injuries after the large fire was lit at Stamford Hill.

They added no criminal allegations had been reported, with no serious injuries.

The condition of the patients was not immediately clear last night.

Several witnesses claim the explosion came after mobile phones were thrown into the fire, but these reports are unconfirmed.

Some even said the rabbi – a leader of the Chassidic Jewish movement – had chucked a phone into the blaze in a warning against the evil of smartphones.

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.”

Lag BaOmer is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar.

It is a break in the 49-period day between Passover and Shavuot, when weddings and haircuts are forbidden.

 

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Tokunbo David
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