Injury Toll Following the 1997 Maccabiah Games Bridge Collapse Academic Article uri icon


  • A major disaster was encountered at the 1997 Maccabiah Games in Israel. As the Australian team was about to enter the main stadium for the opening ceremony, a pedestrian bridge they were crossing collapsed, killing 4 athletes and injuring many others. The aim of this paper is to establish the rates, types and anatomical locations of musculoskeletal injuries incurred by members of the Australian Maccabiah Games team, with particular reference to the impact of the bridge collapse. In total, the 410 members of the team (360 athletes and coaches and 50 team officials) reported 166 injuries from their participation in sport and 30 musculoskeletal injuries associated with the collapse of the bridge. The most common sports-related injuries were sprains and strains to the hip/thigh, lumbar spine and ankle/foot regions, while the bridge collapse resulted in, most commonly, sprains and contusions to the hip/thigh, knee, lower leg and ankle/foot regions. In addition, team members incurred many medical and psychological conditions. This paper makes several recommendations for sports medicine staff based on the experience of this significant sport disaster.


  • Kolt, Gregory S
  • Wajswelner, Henry
  • Adonis, Marcus
  • Levin, Philip
  • Shell, Allan
  • Srage, Michelle
  • Steinweg, Jeffrey

publication date

  • 2000

has subject area