Mina stampede: At least 310 killed, 450 injured: Seven Pakistanis lost lives in tragic incident
MINA: More then 310 pilgrims including seven Pakistani martyred and as many as 450 others injured in stamped during the stoning of Satan at Mina outside the Muslim holy city of Makkah, where some two million people are performing Haj, the Saudi civil defence said.
Television reports quoted Director-General (DG) Haj Abu Akif saying that seven Pakistanis had also lost their lives in the tragic incident. The DG Haj added that two Pakistanis had been rescued after the stampede, according to reports.
Pakistanis wishing to enquire about their loved ones can call an emergency helpline at 00966125458000.
Rescue operations are under way and an emergency has been declared in all nearby hospitals. At least 4,000 emergency personnel and 220 ambulances took part in the rescue operations, the service said.
“Work is underway to separate large groups of people and direct pilgrims to alternative routes,” the Saudi Civil Defence said on its Twitter account.
Teams on the ground are leading pilgrims away from the stampede, to safety, by means of alternate routes, the civil defence service said.
The stampede occurred at Mina’s street number 204. Mina is a large valley about five kilometres from the holy city of Makkah. The valley houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage. Mina is where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls. The temperature in the valley is approximately 45 degree Celsius.
The incident took place near Maktib Number 93 where mostly Algerian pilgrims are staying, according to a report.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office said they were collecting information about the Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to check whether any of them were among the victims.
FO spokesperson said directives have been given to the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the Pakistani pilgrims.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the tragic incident.
Premier Nawaz Sharif directed Pakistan’s Ambassador in Saudia Arabia to “visit the injured at the hospitals and facilitate the injured and the martyred as much as possible”.