Video: UF vigil for Israel ends in panic, mass hysteria as crowd scatters; several people hurt

New video shows the moment chaos erupted during a vigil in support of Israel at the University of Florida's campus Monday night, as people suddenly scattered in all directions. At least 20 people were hurt in the swarm.

UF students, faculty, leaders, and members of the Jewish community gathered Monday night in Turlington Plaza for a candlelight vigil following the surprise – and deadly – attacks in Israel over the weekend.

The video shows what appears to be hundreds of people gathered in the plaza listening to someone speaking. Moments later, a small section of the crowd begins to move and suddenly everyone begins running and screaming.


Photos obtained by FOX 35 of the aftermath show bottles and debris scattered across the plaza.

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(Photo courtesy of Nick VanZandt)

What happened: misinterpreted 911 call or loud noise?

According to the University of Florida Police Department, shortly before 9 p.m., someone attending the event fainted. Others then asked for someone to call 911. "The call was misunderstood by the crowd, which dispersed in a panic."

University of Florida Police Officers immediately secured the area and helped escort people away. The Alachua County Sheriff's Office and Gainesville Police Department also responded to the school to help.

However, UF Hillel and Chabad UF, two Jewish organizations at the University, said in a joint statement late Monday that a noise during the program caused the panic.

A spokesperson for UF Health told FOX 35 on Tuesday that it received 20 patients within a 15-minute timeframe on Monday night. Most of those injuries were described to FOX 35 as minor cuts and bruises. One person may have possibly broken their nose, the spokesperson said.

No one was admitted to the hospital.

At least five people were treated at the scene Monday night, according to officials.