After a stampede in Mina left at least 717 people dead and over 900 injured, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has ordered a review of annual Hajj procedures.
Mina which is on the outskirts of Mecca is a place pilgrims visit to perform a final ritual of throwing stones at pillars used to represent the devil before the beginning of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
However, this is not the first time such an incident will happen, as it previously occurred in 1990, 1994, 2004 and 2006. The deadliest occurred in 1990 when 1,400 were confirmed dead after a stampede in a Mina tunnel.
Furthermore, Prince Mohammed Ibn Nayef, the Chairman of the Kingdom’s Hajj Committee, has also ordered an official investigation into the causes of one of the deadliest stampedes ever in the history of the annual pilgrimage.
Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi’s Health Minister, blamed the latest incident on the refusal of pilgrims to follow instructions.
Corroborating al-Falih’s point, the Voice of America reported a journalist Nasiru Adamu el-Hikaya who witnessed the stampede saying: “As foot traffic flowed one way mid-morning, a small group turned around, creating an unintentional clash that crushed men and women, old and young.”
This is the second major tragic incident this month, after a crane collapse in the Grand Mosque in Mecca left over 109 people dead and hundreds of others injured.
Source: The Herald