Vigil for Israel at University of Florida ends in panic after crowd flees; 20 people hurt, officials say

At least 20 people were hurt Monday night at the University of Florida after crowds attending a candlelight vigil in support of Israel panicked and began to run away, according to a spokesperson for the University of Florida.

According to a news release, people gathered at UF's Turlington Plaza for the candlelight vigil when someone fainted during the program. People then asked for others to call 911, which was "misunderstood by the crowd, which dispersed in a panic," the release said. 

Initially, the University of Florida Police Department reported five people were hurt and treated for minor injuries in the rush. 

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(Photo courtesy of Nick VanZandt)

On Tuesday, however, a UF spokesperson later clarified with FOX 35 News an additional 15 people showed up at the hospital with minor injuries. Many of them drove themselves to the hospital, officials said. 

"We have no reason to believe that there was malicious intent behind this incident. It was an accident that was misinterpreted by the crowd that led to panic," said Chief Linfa Stump-Kurnick in a statement.

Officials secured the scene, and were escorting people who left items at the plaza during the rush. Those who are unable to get their items Monday night, will be able to retrieve them Tuesday morning at the UF Public Safety Building.

UF President Ben Sasse spoke during Monday night's vigil, prior to the panic.

"Like so many Gators, Melissa and I are praying. We pray for the families of the dead. We pray for the victims who are in hospitals still fighting for their lives. We pray for the victims who are still held hostage. We pray for peace in an uncertain and dangerous world," according to remarks posted to UF's website.