( 4UMF NEWS ) 310 Pilgrims Dead In Hajj Stampede:
The annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudia Arabia turned into a deadly stampede Thursday, leaving 310 people dead and at least 450 injured, authorities said.
The tragedy happened on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca, on a desert plain where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing rocks against three stone walls.
It’s not clear what sparked the massive crush of people, but amateur video showed a devastating scene, with dozens of crumpled bodies lying in debris along sun-scorched streets.
Rescue workers set up white tents and combed the crowds for survivors as spectators watched. Ambulances stacked in as many wounded as possible to transport them to area hospitals.
Some 2 million people are taking part in this year’s hajj pilgrimage, which began Tuesday. The final destination is the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.
The stampede was the deadliest disaster at the hajj since 2006, when more than 360 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in the same area.
Just two weeks before the annual holy event began, a giant construction crane came crashing down on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
That accident killed at least 111 people and injured more than 390.
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