Mecca stampede LIVE: Two Indians among 717 killed, over 850 Hajj pilgrims injured

Stampede during Hajj: About 2 million people are performing the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca in Saudi Arabia

By: Reuters | Dubai | Updated: September 25, 2015 4:19 am
mecca, mecca stampede, hajj, hajj stampede, saudi stampede, mecca, mecca stampede, mecca accident, hajj stampede, mecca stampede death, saudi stampede, saudi arabia, mina stampede, haj stampede death, haj accident, saudi news, haj stampede 2015 Muslim pilgrims gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday. (Source: AP photo)

Two Indians were among 717 people killed in a stampede when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform symbolic stoning of the devil here, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage in Mecca.  Over 850 were injured at Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, when two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads on their way to performing the “stoning of the devil” ritual at Jamarat, Saudi civil defence said.

A 60-year old woman from Hyderabad, identified as Jaanbibi Majeed, who was killed in the stampede had gone to Mecca on September 2. While another deceased, from Kerala, had gone for the Haj through a privately-sponsored group.

READ: 60-year-old from Hyderabad killed in Hajj tragedy, family to let Saudi officials bury her there

The head of Iran’s hajj organization blamed Saudi “mismanagement” for a crush of pilgrims outside Mecca that killed hundreds of people, including 41 Iranian pilgrims. Saeed Ohadi told state TV by phone from Saudi Arabia that the incident might have been caused by the closure of a road. State TV says another 60 Iranian pilgrims were wounded in the incident.

A sudden surge in the number of pilgrims heading to Jamarat for symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls resulted in the stampede at 9 AM local time (1130 IST), the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

The Saudi civil defence authority said rescue operations were underway in Mina.

IN PICS: Stampede at Mecca

The incident is reported to have occurred between Mount Arafat and the Grand Mosque when the pilgrims were performing the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at the three pillars.

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said high temperatures and the fatigue of the pilgrims might also have been factors in Thursday’s disaster, the deadliest event to afflict the hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades.

He says there is no indication that authorities are to blame for the event, saying “unfortunately, these incidents happen in a moment.”
Al-Turki says King Salman has ordered the creation of committee to investigate the incident.

Some 2 million people take part in the annual hajj pilgrimage, which all able-bodied Muslims are required to undertake at least once in their lives.

Watch Video

Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press say the crush of Muslim pilgrims began when two waves of pilgrims going in opposite directions collided.

Egyptian pilgrim Abdullah Lotfy, 44, said “I saw someone trip over someone in a wheelchair and several people tripping over him. People were climbing over one another just to breathe.”

Lotfy says the collision should never have happened, saying “there was no preparation” on the part of Saudi authorities. Ismail Hamba, 58, from Nigeria, recalled falling down and then being trampled, saying “it was really, really terrible.”

Helpline numbers: 00966125458000, 009661254960000

Two weeks ago, Mecca was ravaged by a crane collapse that resulted in the death of 111 people and injuries to more than 350 others. Saudi authorities announced that the results of investigation into the incident will be referred to the king, Sabq Online reported. No information has been revealed about the reason behind the collapse of the crane, reportedly the largest in the world.

READ: Glance at major hajj-related incidents in Saudi Arabia

This is the second worst incident in 25 years to hit the annual pilgrimage. In 1990, a stampede inside a tunnel leading to holy sites killed 1,426 pilgrims.

See timeline of previous stampedes at Mecca below:

Also read: Decoding the Mecca crane crash

India’s Ministry of External Affairs had confirmed that 11 Indians were killed in the crane collapse incident.

Watch video: All you need to know about Hajj

The Saudi government has arranged foolproof safety and security measures, deploying nearly 100,000 men in uniform at the holy sites to make the journey of a lifetime for the two million pilgrims safe and secure. Saudi Government officials said a total of 13,74,206 foreign pilgrims have arrived for Hajj this year.

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  1. J
    Jaago
    Sep 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm
    Rest in peace.
    Reply
    1. I
      Indian
      Sep 25, 2015 at 12:12 am
      Well, they like to die in the name of Allah anyway ! So this is better than jihad ! 700 less jihad's to worry about. This is as sad as it gets, but truth be told..I don't feel sorry for this community. There are a lot of good people in Islamic faith, but they don't stand up against these jihadi but jobs !
      Reply
      1. B
        Bismillah
        Sep 24, 2015 at 3:48 pm
        My deepest condolence to all families
        Reply
        1. I
          Inspector Sonawane
          Sep 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm
          Saudi and the middle east buys water, food from other non arab nations. The number of people visit Mecca puts tremendous pressure on the food stocks and transportation. This event is becoming a nonsense than anything divine. The g mufti's speech again sent a wahabi fire and disrespected other religions. With changing geo politics this pilgrimage is going to be a dangerous place and our muslim brothers should avoid visiting here. There are already 10 milion left middle east and begging for an asylum to the non muslim nations. So there is no divine Islam have left.
          Reply
          1. L
            Letstalk
            Sep 25, 2015 at 4:45 am
            But then they don't go to paradise right.. there is a huge difference
            Reply
            1. R
              Rekha joshi
              Sep 25, 2015 at 6:24 am
              Dispite this Saudi 5overnment earn more and more foreign currency.
              Reply
              1. R
                Rekha joshi
                Sep 24, 2015 at 8:01 pm
                It has been sad to hear this news.sorry for all the hajj pilgrims.
                Reply
                1. R
                  Rekha joshi
                  Sep 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm
                  Carry on.Life is running what ever be the odds.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Rekha joshi
                    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm
                    Left high & dry: No facilities at the holy site means Haj yatra =Earn more & more foreign currency.No compensation has been declared by Saudi Government to victims.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Rekha joshi
                      Sep 24, 2015 at 2:36 pm
                      My condolence to the bereved families who lost loved ones in Famous Haj Yatra.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        AARAAM
                        Sep 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm
                        In 21st Cent. modern age, stampede deaths are worst forms of m-killing. What happens is, the very, very young , the old and infirm are simply unable to cope up with speed of rest of younger pilgrims ( be it Mecca or the Godavari festival or Kumbh-mela of India). Once they trip- that is all. Rest of the humanity that follows the old people who had fallen sees to it that they go right-away Heaven-wards. BEST way to handle huge mes of gatherings, is to forcefully make them into batches; each batch must leave enough time gap for next incoming one; the earlier one will by that time would have gone ahead, leaving enough space for incoming ones and so on. Another way is, forming multiple levels; multiple queuing system, whereby, each queue methodically moves in the igned path, with side-wards exits for emergency calls. Even in MIna, if only the place of stone-throwing ceremony had been provided by Saudis with structures having multiple floors, wherein people move uniformly one-way through them towards demarcated dedicated Exits to their own destinations without causing any crowding/ or stampede-like situation at any time during all important prayers, it could have been helpful. Hope clear lessons are learned. May those departed go to Heaven.
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          J.S.Acharya Acharya
                          Sep 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm
                          Deeply saddened by tragic incident at Mina today, during which a large number of haj pilgrims lost their lives . I just wonder how many Indian editorials will come up reg. the stampede. Will they dare criticise with their typical wordings like'poor management' ,'heartless' management ?
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            rehman sheikh
                            Sep 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm
                            nice well done allah
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              ak dev
                              Sep 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm
                              it's a sad incident and I have no intention to see it differently. However, Indian SICULARITS have one more opportunity to blame saferan colour (Hindutva and RSS) for this sad incident. Aid workers are wearing saferan jacktes. stretures carrying the dead and the injured are also saferan. Aid Vehicle in saferan colour and lots of saferan colour in other things. SICULARISTS should immediately demand that Saudi government must ban the use of any thing with saferan colour at the holly place.
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                Desy girl
                                Sep 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm
                                Hundreds of people were killed and injured in last crane collapse.And now this incident is occurred between Mount Arafat and the G Mosque. Where 220 hajj performers were killed again.
                                Reply
                                1. D
                                  Desy girl
                                  Sep 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm
                                  It is very sad news and shows very pitiable condition of the government of Saudia Arab.The government of Arabia has become so careless that it don't provide any safety for Hajj performer after a huge loss .
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    Desy girl
                                    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm
                                    My condolence to those families who have lost their ones in this accident.
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      Desy girl
                                      Sep 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm
                                      When gov. has not sufficient capacity to manage and provide safety for the people then why it's increasing quota of Hajj .Why people are suffering?
                                      Reply
                                      1. D
                                        Desy girl
                                        Sep 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm
                                        God give them strength and peace.
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          Ashish
                                          Sep 24, 2015 at 6:27 pm
                                          Allah kills 850 in the last month!!! Haha... when was the last time you heard Stampede @Vatican!!!
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            Ashish
                                            Sep 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm
                                            Dear Sir, Please share your address. I am coming to explain
                                            Reply
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