At least 310 pilgrims killed, 450 injured near Mecca

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
At least 310 pilgrims killed, 450 injured near Mecca

At least 310 died in a stampede caused by large number of pilgrims pushing at Mina on Thursday during the annual Muslim haj, the Saudi Arabian civil defence said.
The crush, in which at least 450 others were injured, took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the haj.
Thursday is also Eid al-Adha, when Muslims slaughter a sheep. It has traditionally been the most dangerous day of Haj because vast numbers of pilgrims attempt to perform rituals at the same time in a single location.
Street 204 is one of the two main arteries leading through the camp at Mina to Jamarat, where pilgrims ritually stone the devil by hurling pebbles at three large pillars.
Photographs published on the civil defence Twitter feed showed pilgrims lying on stretchers while emergency workers in high-visibility jackets lifted them into an ambulance.
"Work is underway to separate large groups of people and direct pilgrims to alternative routes," the Saudi Civil Defence said on its Twitter account.
Some two million Muslims are taking part in this year's Haj pilgrimage. Some 136,020 pilgrims are from India.
The pilgrimage, the world's largest annual gathering of people, has been the scene of deadly stampedes in the past, as well as other disasters including tent fires and riots.
However, massive infrastructure upgrades and extensive spending on crowd control technology over the past two decades had made such events far less common.
Thursday’s stampede comes barely two weeks after a massive crane fell in Makkah's grand mosque, killing more than 100 people and wounding more than 200. Eleven of those who died in the September 11 tragedy were Indians.


Dhillon Sa'aB™
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