19 Egyptian pilgrims killed in road accident in Saudi Arabia
A bus damaged after a crash carrying Palestinian pilgrims en route to Saudi Arabia, on the outskirts of Maan, Jordan - AP

CAIRO:  A total of 19 Egyptian pilgrims were killed after a bus of 44 passengers overturned along Mecca-Medina road in Saudi Arabia, stated Egyptian Minister Aide for Expatriates Affairs Hesham al-Naqib in a statement Saturday.

The other passengers were injured and transported to hospitals in Medina in coordination with the Saudi Red Crescent, he added, noting that eight of dead people have not been indentified yet.

The reason of the accident remains unknown.

A delegation from the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah visited the hospital morgue where the dead bodies were transported to take all legal procedures, al-Naqib continued.

The passengers were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, which could be done in anytime in the year; on the contrary of Hajj (pilgrimage) which should be performed annually in a specific time (in the eleventh month of Islamic Calendar.)

In September, thousands of people from different nationalities were killed in Mecca stampede during the 2015 Hajj; 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 more than 700 and injured more than 800, according to media reports.

Less than 200 Egyptian pilgrimages were reportedly killed and more than 50 others were missing in the stampede.

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