Haj pilgrimage

At least 310 Haj pilgrims were killed and nearly 450 injured in the latest stampede at the camping city of Mina in western Saudi Arabia on Thursday, 24 September as two million people thronged the holy city to observe Eid al-Adha. 

Saudi Arabian authorities claim year after year they have taken tight measures and precautions during the annual Haj pilgrimage to avert accidents. However, several thousands have died in stampedes, fires, freak accidents and violence over the years.

On 11 September, 111 pilgrims were killed and 394 injured when a huge crane collapsed in Mecca. According to estimates, about 4,000 people have died in tragedies during Haj pilgrimage over last four decades. Take a look at major Haj tragedies over the years.

Timeline of Haj tragedies from 1975 to 2015

December 1975: About 200 pilgrims die in a gas cylinder explosion in Mina camping site.

31 July 1987: Over 400 people die in a clash between Saudi security forces and Iranian protesters.

9 July 1989: One pilgrim dies and 16 injured in a bomb blast. Saudia Arabia beheads 16 Kuwaiti Shia Muslims charged with the criminal act. 

2 July 1990: The most severe Haj tragedy occurs on 2 July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims die in a stampede inside the 500-yard-long Al-Ma'aisim tunnel. The overcrowded pedestrian tunnel links the holy city of Mecca and the camping city of Mina.

23 May 1994: About 270 people die in a stampede at the "Stoning of the Devil" ritual.

15 April 1997: At least 343 die in a fire caused by cooking gas explosion at the Mina tent colony. Of this about 100 were Indian nationals. About 1,500 pilgrims were also injured.

9 April 1998: On the third and last day of the Haj pilgrimage, a stampede at Jamarat Bridge kills at least 118 pilgrims. As many as 50 of them were Indians and the rest were from Malaysia and Indonesia. At least 180 were injured.

5 March 2001: At least 35 pilgrims including 23 women and 12 men are trampled to death in a stampede during the Stoning of Satan ritual. Of this, two were Indians.

11 February 2003: At least 14 people including six women die in a stampede during the Stoning of Satan ritual.

1 February 2004: At least 251 people are killed and 244 injured when pilgrims flock to Jamarat Bridge on Mina to participate in the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Mina. Most of the dead were Indonesians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. 

6 January 2006: About 76 people are killed when a nine-story building in Mecca collapses after a fire breaks out.

12 January 2006: At least 346 pilgrims die and 289 injured when pilgrims throng at the Jamarat Bridge to perform the Stoning of Satan ritual.

11 September 2015: A deadly crane crash kills 111 pilgrims and injures 394 in Mecca.

24 September 2015: At least 717 Haj pilgrims are killed and nearly 800 injured in a stampede in Mina.

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