Hundreds Killed in Hajj Stampede

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While the number is unknown at the moment but…

“The number of killed is at least 200,” a medical source at Mina General Hospital told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“The figure is due to rise because most of the victims are in critical condition,” he said.

“We cannot give an exact figure because we received some 600 casualties, many of whom were transferred to other hospitals,” he added.

Reuters said more than 100 pilgrims were crushed to death and almost a thousand others were wounded, with some witnesses claiming 200 hundred casualties.

“It is more than 100,” a medic in Mina outside the holy city of Makkah told Reuters.

“We have a number of casualties and injuries. The (exact) number is not known yet,” Adel Zamzami, head of civil defense forces in western Saudi Arabia, had earlier said.

“There is an accident at the beginning of the bridge of Jamarat,” where the pilgrims stone three pillars symbolizing the devil in the valley of Mina, east of the holy city of Makkah.

Tarek Al-Arnus, the head of emergency operations at the ministry of health who was at the scene at the time of the accident, told AFP: “It is too early to give a toll.”

…A ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, told The Associated Press (AP) the stampede happened after some pieces of luggage dropped from moving buses. The pilgrims apparently tripped over them as they were rushing to the pillars. [source]

I have to give credit where due: Saudi Arabia has made some amazing moves this year to ensure people’s safety, even the pillars were changed in shape to make things smoother. The area can actually accomadate all these people with no problem as I have seen it myself. It’s just that people, well some people, are very very ignorant.

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UPDATE: 345 Dead

Jordan Planet’s Nar has a few suggestions about stampede control


  • nas, i’m surprised at you. this was not because of ignorance (defined as: not knowing) but rather dis-care, dis- association, and dis- sympathy for that other human being who just fell in front of you and cant get up. it has to do with what we have evolved into…a people with a disdainful ‘me first’ mantra.

  • The number is reported to be 345 now (from Al Jazeera). Allah yer7amhom wo enna lellah wo enna elaih raje3oon.

    Fad, I disagree with you, when a stampede occurs, people “try” to stop when they see someone fall in front of them, but the people behind them and especially the ones way at the back (who are usually closest to the thing people are running away from) are the ones who can’t see people on the ground and who just want the people in front of them to move. It’s not that people don’t care about each other, it’s the fact that people actually get to the point where a stampede has been initiated. There’s no way of dealing with a stampede after it has started among hundreds of thousands.

    I think the Saudi government can do a lot more to prevent this in the future. I think the Saudi government should launch Hajj Safety Education Missions across the world, and make it mandatory for those who apply for Hajj to attend Hajj safety classes in their countries. In these classes, they can educate people on why they shouldn’t panic, why they shouldn’t run, that this is not the Pampalona race where bulls are chasing after people.

    Why run? That’s the question. There is enough open space to accommodate all these numbers? If people just stand there, they and others won’t be hurt, so why do they run? Why a stampede? This is where the Saudi government should focus its efforts to ensure safety in the future. And I think educating the pilgrims about that before they ever stop foot in Saudi Arabia is the key.

    Hajj safety classes and Hajj drills, that’s what we need.

  • Allah yerhamhoum jameean.
    Allah yetabbal minhoum.

    Regarding some people’s ignorance relating this matter:
    the matter is that people all crowd up at the time of zawal, and go to rami al jamrat, since the Prophet P.B.U.H
    performed this ritual at that time, nonetheless there was a fatwa that this practice could be performed at anytime
    and therefore people should take by the fatwa and make it easier on everyone including themselves. I totally agree
    with hamzeh that the pilgrims should be lectured on safety and matters such as the fatwa that I just mentioned.

    Inna lil Lah wa inna elayhi la raje3oun.

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