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Live: 310 dead in stampede during haj outside Mecca, MEA checking about Indians

The incident took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the haj.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: September 24, 2015, 4:00 PM IST
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# Emergency helpline numbers: 00966125458000, 00966125496000




# The death toll rises to 310.

# More than 220 ambulances and 4,000 rescue workers had been sent to the stampede's location to help the wounded.

# Stoning the devil ritual continuing despite the tragedy.

# Nearly 1.5 lakh Indians had gone on haj but there is no clarity on any casualty in stampede, says MEA.

Mecca: At least 220 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a stampede at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual haj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority said.

The stampede, in which at least 450 others were injured, took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the haj.

Mina is where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls.

Thursday is also Eid al-Adha, when Muslims slaughter a sheep. It has traditionally been the most dangerous day of haj because vast numbers of pilgrims attempt to perform rituals at the same time in a single location.

Street 204 is one of the two main arteries leading through the camp at Mina to Jamarat, where pilgrims ritually stone the devil by hurling pebbles at three large pillars.

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"Work is underway to separate large groups of people and direct pilgrims to alternative routes," the Saudi Civil Defence said on its Twitter account.

The pilgrimage, the world's largest annual gathering of people, has been the scene of deadly stampedes in the past, as well as other disasters including tent fires and riots.

However, massive infrastructure upgrades and extensive spending on crowd control technology over the past two decades had made such events far less common.
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