Notwithstanding the tragic crane crash that killed 109 people early this month at Mecca, another tragedy struck today at Mina, just outside Mecca, when a stampede occurred and more than 210 people were killed. Also the incident coincided with Eid, that is being celebrated all over the world by Muslims.
At least 400 people were injured last time and this time again, according to Saudi-owned State Television, which said rescue operations were initiated by the country’s civil defence personnel.
In fact, all the past tragedies in Hajj were due to stampedes and he administration has devised means to avert stampede every year. In 2006, 364 pilgrims were killed in a similar stampede in Mina when the ritual stone throwing incident was underway.
Nearly 1.5 million pilgrims pay Hajj every year and this year so far 1.37 million people have reached Mecca fro the ritual.
The incident occurred on Street 204 at Mina, which is few kilometres away from Mecca. The ritual ‘ramy al-jamarāt’ involves stone throwing at three large pillars denoting devil. Though traditional, stone throwing incident always remained the most dangerous day of Hajj.
Here is a list of major accidents which took place during the Hajj:
July 2, 1990 : A stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma’aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims, many of them of Malaysian, Indonesian and Pakistani origin.
May 23, 1994 : A stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.
April 9, 1998: at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.
March 5, 2001: Thirty five pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.
February 11, 2003: The stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims’ lives.
February 1, 2004: 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.
January 12, 2006: A stampede during the ritual ramy al-jamarāt on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more.
Sept. 24, 2015: A stampede during the ritual ramy al-jamarāt on the last day of the Hajj in Mina left 210 pilgrims killed and another 450 injured.
December 1975: An exploding gas cylinder caused a fire in a tent colony and resulted in the deaths of 200 pilgrims.
April 15, 1997: In all, 343 pilgrims were killed and 1,500 injured in a tent fire in MINA on 8 Dhu al-Hijjah between 10 am to 12 pm, see also Mecca fire of 1997 The tents are now fireproof.
November 1, 2011: Two pilgrims, a man and his wife died in a coach fire.
July 31, 1987: A clash between Iranian demonstrators and Saudi security forces brought death to more than 400 pilgrims and injury to thousands more.
July 9, 1989: Two bombs exploded, killing one pilgrim and wounding another 16. Saudi authorities executed 16 Kuwaiti Shia Muslims for the bombings after originally suspecting Iranian agents.
Jan. 5, 2006: A concrete multi-story building of Al-Ghaza Hotel located in Mecca close to the Grand Mosque collapsed on January 5, 2006 killing about 76 pilgrims and injuring 64.
Sept. 12, 2015: A crane crash resulted in 107 deaths and injured 237.