Mecca: At least 717 people of different nationalities were killed and over 860 others, including two Indians, injured in a stampede today when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform symbolic stoning of the devil in Meccae, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage.
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.
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.
There is no report of any Indian fatality though two nationals have been injured in the stampede.
External Affairs Ministry said Indian Mission in Jeddah was continuously monitoring the situation after the stampede.
More than 1.5 lakh Indians are among over two million pilgrims performing Haj in Mecca this year.
“Our Mission in Jeddah is continuously monitoring the situation in Makkah following tragic stampede,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Our Mission in Jeddah continuously monitoring situation in Makkah following tragic stampede. No confirmed casualties at this point of time.— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 24, 2015
Our Mission in Jeddah continuously monitoring situation in Makkah following tragic stampede. No confirmed casualties at this point of time.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 24, 2015
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. – See more a
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