Worthy Christian News » World News » More than 700 pilgrims die in crush in worst hajj disaster for 25 years
(Worthy News) - At least 717 pilgrims from around the world were killed on Thursday in a crush outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi authorities said, in the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage for 25 years.
At least 863 others were injured. Saudi King Salman said he had ordered a review of haj plans after the disaster, in which two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the "stoning of the devil" ritual at Jamarat.
Thursday's disaster was the worst to occur at the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims suffocated in a tunnel near Mecca. Both incidents occurred on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam's most important feast and the day of the stoning ritual.
Photographs published on the Twitter feed of Saudi civil defense on Thursday showed pilgrims lying on stretchers while emergency workers in high-visibility jackets lifted them into an ambulance. [ Source ]
Iran supreme leader slams Saudi Arabia over stampede
Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed mismanagement by Saudi Arabian authorities for a deadly stampede that left more than 700 pilgrims dead, including at least 90 Iranians.
The country's supreme leader declared three days of mourning to mark the tragedy in comments published by the state news agency IRNA.
"The government of Saudi Arabia must accept the huge responsibility for this catastrophe," Khameini said of the incident, which also left at least 863 people injured. [ Source ]