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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