Friday, September 25, 2015

Mecca Hajj Death Toll Reaches 717 (Graphic Photos)

The route to mina

Thousands make their way to stone satan

About 717 people lost their lives and close to 900 were injured when a stampede occurred as pilgrims were walking towards Jamarat Bridge.  Two weeks ago, another incident left 109 people dead had occurred when a crane collapsed at the Grand Central Mosque.
Pilgrims approachiing Jamarat Bridge

It is thought that the pilgrims were walking/travelling to a valley known as Mina situated about 2 miles from Mecca to throw seven stones at pillars known as Jamarat which is the place where satan is believed to have tempted Prophet Abraham.  This ritual is known as stoning the devil.

It is believed that appropriate health and safety measures were not put in place to control the crowd and the stampede occurred when two huge groups arrived at the valley.  There was a sudden surge which caused some of those walking to fall, get trampled upon and ultimately suffocate.  Reports say dead bodies stretch as far as the eyes can see and Saudi officials were seen working hard, pulling piles of dead bodies in an attempt to rescue the injured and those still alive under the dead bodies.  Saudi authorities blame indisciplined pilgrims from Africa for the stampede instead of admitting they did not put in place proper crowd control measures.

Losing one's life during the hajj is considered by many faithfuls as a guaranteed entry to heaven. May their souls rest in peace.  Such a tragedy.

Survivors at the scene of the stampede

Rescue workers searching for survivors

Belonging and dead bodies piled together

Searching for Survivors

The dead who lost their lives in the stampede

Rescue Workers doing their best

Some survivors of the stampede

More survivors amongst the dead.....
This is so sad and shocking.

Photo credit: Daily Mail

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