- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: AT LEAST 244 PILGRIMS KILLED IN HAJ CRUSH.
- Date: 1st February 2004
- Summary: (W4) MENA, SAUDI ARABIA (FEBRUARY 1, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. LV: PILGRIMS AND TENTS; THOUSANDS OF PILGRIMS WALKING (6 SHOTS) 0.25 2. LV/GV: RESCUE WORKERS WITH STRETCHERS; PEOPLE BEING PUT ONTO STRETCHERS; COVERED BODIES ON STRETCHERS BEING LOADED INTO LORRY; AMBULANCE DRIVING THROUGH CROWD; MORE OF BODIES BEING PUT INTO LORRY; AMBULANCES; TROOPS; MORE OF BODIES BEING PUT IN LORRY (18 SHOTS) 2.18 3. LV: WIDE OF TENTS AND PILGRIMS WALKING 2.23 (W4) MENA, SAUDI ARABIA (FEBRUARY 1, 2004) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) *MUTE* 4. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF SOLDIERS AND DOCTOR AT SCENE OF STAMPEDE; MAN ON STRETCHER BEING EVACUATED FROM SCENE; SOLDIER TALKING INTO RADIO; INJURED MAN ON GROUND; INJURED MAN ON STRETCHER (5 STILLS) 3.04 (W4) MENA, SAUDI ARABIA (FEBRUARY 1, 2004) (REUTERS) 5. GV: PILGRIMAGE AFFAIRS AND ENDOWMENTS MINISTER, IYAD MADANI AND ALI AL-SHOABY, HAJ SECURITY CHIEF ARRIVE AT PODIUM 3.11 6. MEDIA 7. PILGRIMAGE AFFAIRS AND ENDOWMENTS MINISTER MADANI AT LECTERN 8. SOUNDBITE (English) PILGRIMAGE AFFAIRS AND ENDOWMENTS MINISTER, IYAD MADANI, SAYING: "The incident started at nine this morning. It lasted about 27 minutes. All the security and emergency apparatus was there, medical apparatus, was there to confront that incident and one of the given of the (unknown)....Umrah is the great density of people per square metre. Two hundred and 44 hadjis passed away and the same figure, 244, were injured and now they are in the various hospital in Makkah (unknown), none of them in critical condition. I don't have a breakdown of the nationalities." 9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) IYAD MADANI, SAYING: "The incident started at nine this morning. It lasted about 27 minutes. All the security and emergency apparatus was there, medical apparatus, was there to confront that incident and one of the given of the....is the great density of people per square metre. Two hundred and 44 hadji's passed away and the same figure, 244, were injured and now they are in the various hospital in Macc ma kuraba, none of them in critical condition. I don't have a breakdown of the nationalities." 10. IYAD MADANI AT LECTERN 11. SOUNDBITE (English) HAJ SECURITY CHIEF, ALI AL-SHOABY, SAYING: "Today due to the event that happened we had to employ about two more thousand vehicles from the national guard and to actually support our mission and controlling the people who were trying to enforce their way inside the bridge while we are trying to evacuate those injured and dead." 12. MEDIA 5.16 13. MV: IYAD MADANI AT LECTERN 5.21 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 16th February 2004 12:00
- Location: MENA, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Reuters ID: LVAFR7EPG010B7O9HHSXU0TCGBS
- Story Text: At least 244 pilgrims killed in haj crush, Saudi
At least 244 Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death
and the same number injured in a stampede during the annual
haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (February 1), a
Saudi minister said.
Pilgrimage Affairs and Endowments Minister Iyad bin
Amin Madani told reporters 244 pilgrims died in the
incident and 244 were injured. He did not give a breakdown
of the nationalities.
The disaster happened as pilgrims, wrapped in white
robes, flocked to Jamarat Bridge in Mena for the
stone-throwing ritual on the day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha
feast of sacrifice.
The haj has seen deadly stampedes almost every year. In
1990, 1,426 pilgrims were crushed to death in a pedestrian
tunnel at the holy city of Mecca.
Last year 14 people were trampled to death. In 2001, 35
people died in a stampede at the bridge and 119 were killed
in a similar incident in 1998.
The haj has also seen armed uprisings and bombings.
Pilgrims descended on the main pillar from all
directions on Sunday, shouting "God is greatest!".
Onlookers chanted "Harder! Harder!" as the faithful stoned
the devil. Muslims believe the pillar marks the spot
where the devil appeared to biblical patriarch Abraham.
Police cordoned off the area around the main pillar
after the crush and urged people to cast pebbles from a
distance But pilgrims, unfazed by the stampede continued
Mena is on the pilgrimage route from Mecca in western
Saudi Arabia to nearby Mount Arafat.
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