CAIRO: A total of 14 Egyptians died in a stampede during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, Egypt’s Endowments Minister Mokhtar Gomaa announced, adding that 31 Egyptians were injured in a stampede while performing the pilgrimage rituals in Mecca Thursday, Youm7 reported Friday.
The stampede occurred while almost 2 million pilgrims from all over the world were simultaneously performing the “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina near Mecca. The crush claimed the lives of at least 717 and injured more than 800, according to media reports.
According to the AP, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said the crush appears to have been caused by two waves of pilgrims meeting at an intersection.
In a televised speech aired Thursday at the Saudi Al-Ekhbariya T.V. channel, Saudi Health Minister Khaled al-Falih blamed “lack of discipline and ignoring the Hajj instructions and timetables among pilgrims ” for the Thursday’s stampede.
The Saudi civil protection force contained a fire that spread Friday morning in Egyptian’s camp 8 in Mena, after starting in the camp’s kitchen. The fire was put out by eight fire trucks; no injuries nor losses were reported, according to Youm7.
On Sept. 11, two Egyptian pilgrims died from their injuries caused by a construction crane that collapsed in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, announced the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
A total of 22 Egyptians were reportedly injured in the accident, which left 107 dead and an estimated 238 injured.
The Hajj, Islamic pilgrimage, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is the largest Muslim gathering through the year, during which deaths among pilgrims usually occur, mostly due to sudden health crises
Additional reporting by Rany Mostafa.