More than 100 Indians have now been declared dead even as the toll continues to rise by the day in the Haj stampede tragedy. According to Indian authorities, the death toll of Indians has now crossed over 100 and more than 30 people are still missing.
Last month a massive stampede had occurred near Mecca, in which is about 1400 pilgrims are estimated to have died.
“Saudi authorities have identified more pilgrims who died in Haj stampede. The toll of Indian pilgrims is now 101. We have 32 missing,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter on Friday morning.
Minister of State for External Affairs, V K Singh was in Saudi Arabia for the identification process of the missing Indians.
“The minister sought the intervention of the Saudi Health Minister to find the identities of all the Indian pilgrims. He also conveyed that several missing cases were still pending with the Indian mission and it can only be resolved after the identification process is complete. Singh has been assured of all support and assistance by the Saudi minister,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
On September 24, a stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina. The pilgrims were queuing for the symbolic stoning of the devil. The tragedy is said to be one of the worst stampedes to have occurred during the annual Haj pilgrimage.
Incidentally, the tragedy came just two weeks after a crane crashed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca which killed 109 pilgrims.
(With inputs from PTI)