There was panic in Florida on Monday evening at a prayer vigil for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Israel. According to authorities, several people were injured after the crowd abruptly broke out into a stampede.
Students had gathered at the University of Florida in Gainesville to remember the hundreds of people killed in Israel since Saturday when police said the crowd was shaken up just before 9 p.m
Someone attending the vigil fainted, prompting others to ask someone to call 911, university police said in a statement.
“The call was misunderstood by the crowd, who dispersed in panic,” police said.
The video was taken shortly before the stampede and posted on social media shows the participants quietly listening to a speaker when a wave of screams rises from the distance, causing everyone to run.
Accordingly, the university has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the world local station WCJB, This leaves many on edge due to ongoing violence abroad.
Nick VanZandt, a University of Florida student who shot videos and photos of the scene’s chaotic aftermath, told HuffPost that there were “some tensions” and “very emotional scenes” before the panic, which left him with “a few “Scratches and bruises” were left behind. ”
However, there appeared to be no one protesting the event and local law enforcement handled the situation well, he added.
“They sent a lot of people to the scene because they weren’t sure what was happening,” he said of first responders.
About two dozen people suffered minor injuries in the chaos, according to local officials.
About 20 people arrived at an emergency room at nearby University of Florida Health within 15 minutes for related injuries, university health spokesman Payton Wesner said in an email Tuesday.
“Upon initial assessment, the injuries appeared to be mostly minor bumps or cuts. No one was let in,” Wesner said.
Campus police also said at least five people were treated at the scene for minor injuries. They added that they had no reason to believe there was any malicious intent behind the incident.
Linda Stump-Kurnick, the university’s police chief, said in a statement: “It was an accident that was misinterpreted by the crowd, resulting in panic.”