Haj stampede: Foreign officials release death toll breakdown

 

Haj stampede: Foreign officials release death toll breakdown
Kenyan officials say three of the dead are from their country, while Pakistan says seven of its pilgrims died and six were injured.

Mina, Saudi Arabia - Saudi authorities have yet to provide a breakdown of the nationalities of the 717 pilgrims killed in Thursday's haj stampede.

By AFP/AP

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Published: Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Sep 2015, 9:55 AM

Indonesians, Kenyans, Indians and Pakistanis are among the hundreds of Muslim pilgrims who died in a crush at a holy site in Saudi Arabia.
Authorities in Indonesia, the world's most populous country, said Friday at least three Indonesian pilgrims are dead after Thursday's disaster. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has expressed condolences and called for better management of the hajj crowds to prevent future disasters.
Kenyan officials say three of the dead are from their country, while Pakistan says seven of its pilgrims died and six were injured.

Here is the toll given by foreign officials and media so far:- Algeria: 3 dead
- Burundi: 1 dead
- Egypt: 8 dead
- Iran: 131 dead
- India: 14 dead
- Indonesia: 3 dead
- Kenya: 3 dead
- Morocco: 87 dead, according to Moroccan media
- Netherlands: 1 dead
- Pakistan: 7 dead
- Senegal: 5 dead
- Somalia: 8 dead, according to media reports
- Tanzania: 4 dead
Saudi authorities have yet to provide a breakdown of the nationalities of the 717 pilgrims killed in Thursday's haj stampede, but several foreign countries have announced the deaths of nationals.
Blame shifted towards Saudi authorities, in the worst tragedy to strike the annual Muslim pilgrimage in a quarter-century.
The disaster, which also left several hundred people injured, was the second deadly accident to hit worshippers this month, after a crane collapse in the holy city of Makkah killed more than 100.
Also Read:  111 dead in Makkah Grand Mosque crane crash
"There was no room to manoeuvre," said Aminu Abubakar, an AFP correspondent who was among the pilgrims and who escaped the crush of bodies because he was at the head of the procession.
The stampede broke out in Mina, about five kilometres (three miles) from Makkah, during the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual.
Iran said 131 of its nationals were among the victims, and accused regional rival Saudi Arabia of safety errors.
Turkey reported 18 missing. Moroccan media reported 87 nationals among the dead.
Fellow pilgrims told him of children dying despite parents' efforts to save them near the sprawling tent city where they stay.
"They threw them on rooftops, mostly tent-tops... Most of them couldn't make it."

Toll free number for pilgrims in the Kingdom:

0096 8002477786

Helpline nos: 0096 6125 458 000, 0096 6125277537 and 0096 6125 496 000

At the scene on Thursday, bodies lay in piles, surrounded by discarded personal belongings and flattened water bottles, while rescue workers laid corpses in long rows on stretchers, limbs protruding from beneath white sheets.
Pilgrims at the scene blamed the Saudi authorities and some said they were afraid to continue the hajj rituals.
Gallery: Haj stampede claims hundreds of lives in Mina
However, they said security had improved on Friday and the crowd was smaller.
Special emergency forces were heavily deployed across Mina with dozens of troops at every level of the five-storey stoning bridge.
How it happened
The stampede began at around 9:00 am (0600 GMT) Thursday.
Pilgrims were converging on Mina's Jamarat Bridge to throw pebbles at one of three walls representing Satan, for the last major ritual of the hajj, which officially ends on Saturday.

The bridge was erected in the last decade at a cost of more than $1 billion (893 million euros) and intended to improve safety.
Interior ministry spokesman General Mansur Al Turki said the stampede happened when "a large number of pilgrims were in motion at the same time" at an intersection of two streets in Mina.
"The great heat and fatigue of the pilgrims contributed to the large number of victims," he said.
The disaster came as the world's 1.5 billion Muslims marked Eid Al Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar.
It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Makkah's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, killing 109 people, including many foreigners.
Official figures released on Thursday said 1,952,817 pilgrims had joined this year's haj, including almost 1.4 million foreigners.
For years, the event was marred by stampedes and fires, but it had been largely incident-free for nearly a decade following safety improvements.
Condolences came from around the world, including from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, while Pope Francis expressed solidarity with Muslims and voiced the "closeness of the church" in the face of the tragedy.


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