Makkah stampede: 14 Indian Haj pilgrims dead, 13 injured

New Delhi/Riyadh, Sep 25 (IANS) At least 14 Indian Haj pilgrims were among the over 700 killed in Thursday’s stampede near Makkah in Saudi Arabia, nine of them being from Gujarat, it was officially announced on Friday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “Our Consul General Jeddah reports loss of 14 Indian lives in stampede. We have 13 injured in hospital.”

The minister, who is in the US, added: “The exact number will be known after confirmation by Saudi authorities.”

According to the list put up on the Facebook site of the Haj Mission, Indian consulate, Jeddah, nine of the 14 people who died were from Gujarat, two each were from Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu and one from Maharashtra.

Sushma Swaraj also said Indian volunteers have reached in large number and were assisting the local authorities.

At least 717 people have been confirmed dead as of now in the Thursday’s stampede, the worst tragedy to hit the world’s holiest Muslim pilgrimage in 25 years, while over 800 are injured.

The disaster took place on the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice.

The deceased from Gujarat, as per Facebook site of the Haj Mission, Indian consulate, Jeddah, were Mohammad Hasan Hanif Bhai Shaikh, Shaikh Madinabibi Mahammad Hanif, Divan Ayubshah Bafaishah, Divan Jubedabibi Ayubshah, Soda Rehman Qasam, Betara Fatmaben Karim, Bolim Havbai Ishak, Nagori Johrabibi Mahmadshafi and Nagori Rukhsana Mohammed Ishak.

The two from Tamil Nadu were Shamshudeen Mohamed Ebrahim and Mohideen Pitchai Mohideen Pitchal; the two from Jharkhand were Mohammed Rustam Ali and Niazul-Haque Mansurul Haque, while the lone person from Maharashtra was Saleem Yusuf Shaikh.

Among the 13 injured, two each are from West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and one each from Maharashtra, Lakshadweep, Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Thursday’s stampede took place barely two weeks after a massive crane fell in Makkah’s grand mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians, and injuring over 200.

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