Hajj Stampede: King Salman Orders Hajj Safety Review

Channels Television  
Updated September 25, 2015

hajj pilgrimsSaudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered a safety review for the Hajj pilgrimage following the death of 717 people in a stampede near the holy city of Mecca.

Another 863 people were injured in the incident at Mina, which occurred as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite.

It is the deadliest incident to occur during the pilgrimage in 25 years.

The king said there is a need “to improve the level of organisation and management of movement of the pilgrims”.

The crush occurred after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina.

As part of the Hajj, pilgrims travel to Mina, a large valley about 5km (3 miles) from Mecca, to throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which represents the devil.

The pillars stand where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

The crush is the second disaster to strike in two weeks, after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 109 people.