In the worst tragedy in 7 years at the annual Muslim pilgrim’s journey,310 worshippers were damaged to death and 450 were hurt at a lower place a crush of individuals creating their way to a ritualistic stoning of the devil.
Panic ensued once some pilgrims fell on a bridge, and others tried to flee the push of the oncoming crowd.
Safety measures were in place at the location — one wherever fatal stampedes are frequent — however “caution is not stronger than fate,” Saudi pilgrimage Minister Iyad Madani said.
The tragedy marked the worst disaster at the annual pilgrim’s journey, or hajj, since 1997, once 340 pilgrims died in a fireplace at the overcrowded mina tent camp. Seven of these injured nowadays were in crucial condition, Madani said.
The site of the deaths was a two-story path in mina, the situation of the stone pillars wherever pebbles area unit thrown. identical space was the scene of deadly tramplings in 1998, 2001 and last year.
“All precautions were taken to stop such an incident,” Madani told journalists at a news conference.
Brigadier Mansour al-Turki of the Saudi General Security Forces blame the deaths on “the mass of individuals on the bridge, and also the state of panic that erupted once a number of them fell.”
“The trample begins with alittle variety of people falling, followed by a state of panic and an effort to flee the crowd, that ends up in an increasing range of victims,” he said.
Most of the dead were pilgrims from within the Saudi kingdom who Madani said might not are authorised to participate. it had been unclear what percentage foreign pilgrims died, however Egypt’s Middle East press agency reported that 13 Egyptians were among the dead.
Madani conjointly said 310 pilgrims had died of natural causes throughout the pilgrimage. several participants are aged, and Muslims believe that if an individual dies whereas performing the journeying they’re going to go straight to heaven.