King of Saudi Arabia Orders Review of Hajj Safety Procedures After Deadly Stampede
Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered review of the safety measures during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca after the deadly stampede on Thursday which claimed the lives of at least 717 people.
Another 863 people were injured in the incident which occurred in the neighbourhood of Mina as the last major ritual of the Hajj was taking place.
The king noted that there was need to improve the level of organisation and management of movement of pilgrims.
The stampede occurred after two massive lines of people converged on each other from different directions at an intersection on their way to performing the Stoning of the Devil ritual.
The great heat and fatigue of the pilgrims resulted in the high number of victims, making it the deadliest incident since 1990.
Despite the measures taken by Saudi authorities, stampedes and incidents resulting from the mass gathering of people continue to take place during the Hajj.
Earlier in September, a crane collapsed and crashed into the Grand Mosque of Mecca, killing 109 people and leaving another 230 injured.
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