Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has condoled the loss of lives due to the stampede in Saudi Arabia.
“Distressing news from Mecca. Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede. Condolences to families of the deceased and prayers with the injured,” the Prime Minister said.
At least 220 people were killed and 450 injured in a stampede of pilgrims on Thursday during the annual haj in Saudi Arabia, the civil defence service said.
The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about five kilometers from the holy city of Mecca. Mina houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage.
Millions of Muslim pilgrims streamed towards Jamarat walls used for the ritual stoning of the devil, one of the main rites of the haj. Arriving at the walls, pilgrims pelted them with pebbles, which they had picked up the previous night at Muzdalifah, some four kilometres from Mina, but the ritual lead to a stampede at the venue.
Rescue workers have reached the spot helping the wounded onto stretchers and loading them onto ambulances near some of the white tents. Some 2 million people are taking part in this year’s hajj pilgrimage, which began Tuesday.