The death toll of Indian Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia’s Mina stampede has increased to 58 whereas 78 people are still unaccounted for.
“We have lost 58 Indians. As many as 78 are missing. We are doing everything to locate our people,” Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet today.
The Indian government has facilitated visits of relatives of missing pilgrims and tour operators to the complex for identification of victims.
The crush happened as two large groups of pilgrims converged as they were taking part in stone throwing ceremony in Minna on 24th September one of the Hajj’s major rites.
The pilgrims throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which stand at the place where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.
The Saudi authorities put the total death toll at 769 but foreign media reports and officials put the figure at well over 1,000.
King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180 countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.
The incident was also the second disaster to strike Mecca in two weeks, after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque, killing 109 people on 11 September.