Observing Jew looks at the part f the Western Wall where one of the stones dislodged and crashed into the prayer area in Jerusalem Monday, July 23, 2018. The Western Wall, a retaining wall of the compound where the biblical Jewish temples once stood, is the holiest site where Jews can pray. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Stone from Jerusalem's Western Wall crashes into prayer area

July 23, 2018 - 8:31 am

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the ancient stones from Jerusalem's Western Wall has dislodged and crashed into an adjacent prayer area. No one was hurt.

Footage shows the block plummeting on Monday and landing on a raised wooded platform used for egalitarian prayer.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich called it a most unusual event that hadn't happened in decades. He says moisture or plant growth could have dislodged the stone.

The Western Wall, a remnant of the compound where the biblical Jewish temples once stood, is the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Jews marked Sunday the Tisha B'Av fast commemorating the temples' destruction.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said it's "a great miracle" that the 100-kilogram (220-pound) stone landed near a worshipper and did not harm her.

The area was closed for maintenance.

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