Saudi Arabia authorities announced, at least 717 people were crushed to death and another 800 injured in a stampede on Thursday during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Guardian reports.
It happened on Street 204 — one of the two main roads that lead through the Mina camp to Jamarat, located outside the holy city of Mecca. Two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at an intersection, Reuters said. . Over 150,000 tents accommodate millions of visitors during the hajj pilgrimage. Jamarat is where pilgrims stone the devil by throwing pebbles at three large pillars.
More than 200 ambulances and 4,000 rescuers were sent to the scene of the stampede, the Telegraph said. Two million Muslims from around the globe began the hajj pilgrimage this week.
The incident follows the collapse of a construction crane at Mecca’s Grande Mosque last week, which killed 107 people and injured 230.
The annual pilgrimage has been the scene of many deadly events in the past. In 1990, more than 1,400 people died in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel that leads out from Mecca to Mina, according to the Guardian.
The last large, deadly stampede occurred in 2006, when 326 pilgrims were killed.
Source: Business Insider