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Another Hajj Tragedy: 717 Pilgrims feared dead in a stampede in Mecca
The Stampede

Another Hajj Tragedy: 717 Pilgrims feared dead in a stampede in Mecca

 

About 717 pilgrims are feared dead in a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia. The cause of this latest tragedy is still under investigation but it has become a big worry for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Al Arabiya News quoted the Saudi Arabia’s civil defense as saying at least 453 pilgrims had died when a stampede broke out in the city of Mina.

At least 805 others were injured in the crush at a crossroads on Street 204 at the camp city at Mina, a few kilometres east of Makkah, the Saudi civil defence said.

Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent Abdulrahman Al-Osaimi reporting from Mina emergency hospital said the stampede happened at the entrance of the Jamarat bridge near Street 204, and not inside of the Jamarat area where the stoning pillars are situated.

“The injured have been distributed to four other hospitals in the Mina area. Some of the injured have been evacuated by helicopters to hospitals in Makkah city,” the reporter said.

Saudi Press Agency tweeted a photo of one of the helicopters that are currently transporting the injured to emergency centers in Makkah.

As of 2:00 PM local Makkah time, authorities closed some of the roads leading up to the Jamarat Bridge, where pilgrims were on their way to perform one of their last major Hajj rites, the symbolic “stoning of the devil.”

The civil defense team also said that around 4,000 members of their emergency response team, along with the Red Cross, were deployed to the scene to help lead pilgrims to safer routes away from the stampede. Rescue operations were still underway.

Footage from the scene show people lying on the floor while emergency crews tend to the injured. Images shared on Twitter also show neighboring hospitals in the area getting ready.

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