According to the latest reports of the Union Ministry of External Affairs, fourteen Indians have lost their lives in the recent Haj stampede , which has been described as the second worst ever tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Over 700 people have died in the stampede that happened on Thursday, September 24.
Our Consul General Jeddah reports loss of 14 Indian lives in stampede. We have 13 injured in hospital. #Mecca— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 25, 2015
The exact number will be known after confirmation by Saudi authorities.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 25, 2015
Our emergency Nos in Mecca : 00966125458000 00966125496000 Toll free number for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia : 8002477786— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 24, 2015
Saudi King Salman has ordered a review of haj plans after the disaster, in which two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, on their way to performing the "stoning of the devil" ritual at Jamarat.
Muslim pilgrims and first responders gather around bodies of people crushed in Mina, Saudi Arabia | Source: PTI
More than 100,000 police and thousands of video cameras are also deployed to allow groups to be dispersed before they reach dangerous levels of density.
A pilgrim is treated by a medic after a stampede that killed and injured pilgrims in the holy city of Mina during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, September 24, 2015 | Source: PTI
Two weeks ago, 110 people had died in Mecca's Grand Mosque when a crane working on an expansion project collapsed during a storm which toppled off the roof into the main courtyard, crushing pilgrims underneath.
(With inputs from agencies)