Hajj Stampede: 9 Deadliest Tragedies on Hajj
Millions of faithful from every nook and corner of the globe make their way every year to the holy city of Mecca to participate in Hajj: one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Over the years, the annual Pilgrimage has been marred by several heart rending incidents which led to the loss of lives of thousands of Hajjaj. From massive stampedes, bomb blasts and demonstrations to the takeover of the Grand Mosque, numerous disasters have plagued Hajj in recent years. Here we enlist some of the deadliest hajj-related accidents over the course of history.
1 – The Dreaded Fire of 1975
Killing 200 pilgrims and injuring 151 of them, the fire that started as a result of the explosion of a gas canister, ripped through Mina’s city of tents. Almost a million and a half pilgrims turned up to participate in the sacred practice that year.
2 – The Siege of Grand Mosque in 1979
The extremist insurgents seized the Grand Mosque and took multitudes of pilgrims as hostage. The ensuing assault by the law enforcement agencies and the subsequent turmoil left 153 people dead and around 560 injured.
3 – Demonstrations and Protests of 1987
Violent clashes erupted between the security forces and the pilgrims from Iran staging illicit protests caused the death of more than 400 people while leaving 649 personnel wounded.
4 – Crush of 1990
A massive crush in an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel in Mina leading to holy sites in Mecca saw about 1,426 people dead. Most of the deceased hailed from the Asian countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan.
5 – Panic of 1994
While stoning the satan at Al-Jamarat, overcrowding led to the demise of 270 pilgrims in another smothering stampede during the Hajj of 1974.
6 – The Terrific Fire of 1997
A crowded encampment in the tent city of Mina saw another deadly fire incinerating 343 pilgrims and severely injuring 1,500 people. The blaze was followed by yet another stampede which added to the death toll.
7 – The Horrific Stampede of 2004
With the number of fatalities reaching 250 and hundreds of wounded pilgrims, the trampling of 2004 took place on the last day of the Hajj ceremonies at Mina.
8 – The Compounded Catastrophes of Collapsed Building and Stampede of 2006
An eight-storey building housing pilgrims collapsed just a day before Hajj, killing at least 73 people. This was followed by more than 360 pilgrims losing their lives in a stampede in Mina.
9 – The Horrific Collapse of Crane and the Monstrous Stampede of 2015
In the lead up to the Hajj, more than 100 people lost their lives as a crane crashed on to the Grand Mosque owing to inclement weather. Subsequently, above 700 casualties and hundreds of wounded were reported in yet another horrendous stampede.