332 pilgrims dead on Hajj so far this season: Saudi officials
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Muslim pilgrims circle counterclockwise Islam's holiest shrine, the Kaaba, at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, late on September 20, 2015. AFP PhotoA total of 332 pilgrims have died so far while performing this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, according to officials quoted Sept. 21 by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
While the news agency did not indicate the reasons for the deaths, it is believed that 107 of them were caused by last week’s crane collapse inside Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
At least eight of the victims in the crane incident were Turkish citizens.
As of Sept. 20, the total number of pilgrims to have arrived in the country to perform the pilgrimage stood at roughly 1 million according to officials quoted by SPA – a slight decrease on last year’s number.
In a related development, the SPA reported that Saudi civil defense teams were able to extinguish a fire that broke out early Sept. 21 on the 11th floor of a Mecca hotel full of pilgrims.
While some 1,500 pilgrims were temporarily evacuated from the hotel, four Yemeni pilgrims reportedly suffered minor injuries.
According to Saudi officials quoted by the SPA, the accident was caused by an electrical short circuit.