One woman dead, two injured in Haj stampede

New Delhi: A woman from Telangana is among the Haj pilgrims and two nationals have been injured in the stampede during Haj at Mina near holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

An official of the Telangana State Haj Committee told IANS that the deceased had been identified as Bibi Jaan, a resident of Ranga Reddy district near Hyderabad.

External Affairs Ministry said Indian Mission in Jeddah was continuously monitoring the situation after the stampede. More than 1.5 lakh Indians are among over two million pilgrims performing Haj in Mecca this year.

"Our Mission in Jeddah is continuously monitoring the situation in Makkah following tragic stampede," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Officials in Jeddah said that two Indian nationals were among the injured.

The External Affairs Ministry said people can contact on phone numbers 00966125458000 and 00966125496000 in Makkah to get information. It said people can also call toll free number 8002477786.

The Saudi civil defence authority said 453 people from different nationalities have died in the tragedy. Rescue operations were underway after the stampede in Mina, where pilgrims were performing the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at the three pillars.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed pain at the loss of lives in stampede in Mecca and conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased. "Distressing news from Mecca," tweeted Modi, who is in the USA on a six-day visit.

Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah too expressed anguish. "I am deeply saddened to learn about stampede at Meena and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives," she said.

Over 700 people have been injured in the stampede which occurred days after a massive crane collapse in Mecca Grand Mosque killed 115 people, including 11 Indians.

Helpline Numbers

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has tweeted the emergency helpline numbers following the Haj tragedy near Mecca.

00966125458000

00966125496000.

The toll free number for pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is 8002477786.

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