From the news desk

Mina stampede death toll rises to 310

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Saudi authorities say death toll from the Mina stampede has risen to 310, and 450 pilgrims are reported injured. The Civil Defense service released the toll and said rescue operations were under way after the stampede in Mina. The stampede occurred on Street 204 in Mina. The exact cause of the accident could not be determined easily.

Many of the injured were in semiconscious state. The harsh summer weather has only added to the problem. The injured were not in a position to speak. Sirens were wailing as the ambulances brought in the injured. Hundreds of Saudi security forces and Haj volunteers are at hand helping the injured.

Paramedics treat the injured hujjaj
Paramedics treat the injured hujjaj

Street 204 is one of the two main arteries leading through the camp to Jamarat, where pilgrims ritually stone the devil by hurling pebbles.

Photographs published on the Civil Defense Twitter feed showed pilgrims lying on stretchers while emergency workers in high-visibility jackets lifted them into an ambulance.

Most of the injured were taken to Mina Emergency Hospital. Other were also rushed to the hospitals in Makkah. The Jamrat area, where the pilgrims have to perform the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual, has seen stampedes in the past. But the Saudi authorities have expanded the area by constructing a multilayered complex to ease the flow of pilgrims.

The pilgrims had spent the night in Muzdalifa and had come to Mina to throw seven pea-sized stoned at one of the three wall-like structures.

Paramedics and emergency workers at the scene
Paramedics and emergency workers at the scene

“Work is underway to separate large groups of people and direct pilgrims to alternative routes,” the Saudi Civil Defence said on its Twitter account. SAUDI GAZETTE


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