People all over the world were shocked when news broke that hundreds of individuals undergoing Islamic pilgrimage were killed during the Mecca tragedy this September 24, 2015. A total of 717 bodies and over 850 injured Hajj pilgrims was the result of a stampede in one of the stops in Hajj. This 2015 Mecca tragedy, however, is just one of the many terrible accidents that has befallen the Hajj pilgrims.
According to Vox, enormous crowds, or an expected 2 million visitors to be exact, is a main contributor for the disaster that struck the Pilgrims. Daily Publication, The Guardian, has gathered statements from the lucky Mecca tragedy survivors that fully capture the struggle that struck the people in the disaster:
?I saw someone trip over someone in a wheelchair and several people tripping over him. People were climbing over one another just to breathe,? a certain Abdullah Lofty said. ?It was like a wave. You go forward and suddenly you go back.?
?I saw the pilgrims were falling down and getting crushed and heard women and elderly people were screaming, asking for help,? a certain Dr Abdulrahman said. ?I tried very hard to get out, I lost all my clothes, they were torn off but I didn?t care and I managed to get out.?
The Hajj pilgrimage at?Mecca in Saudia Arabia is a an?obligatory event that each Muslim must undergo at least once in their lifetime. What was supposedly an accomplishing and memorable event where all of them were supposedly standing together before their god was?tarnished by this disaster.
More Tragedies In The Past
If this isn?t the first time that a tragedy has happened in Mecca, has an incident like this happened numerous times already? Was it more severe? Sadly, it?s a yes to all of these questions based on this timeline from The Guardian:
- September 11, 2015: In the lead-up to hajj, at least 107 people are killed and nearly 400 wounded when a crane collapses in bad weather, crashing on to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam?s holiest site.
- January 12, 2006:?More than 360 pilgrims are killed in?a stampede in Mina,, where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls. The day before the hajj begins, an eight-storey building being used as a hostel near the Grand Mosque in Mecca collapsed, killing at least 73 people.
- January 6, 2006:?76 people die when a hotel collapses in the city centre.
- January 22, 2005:?Three pilgrims are crushed to death in a stampede at the stoning ceremony in Mina.
- February 1, 2004: A crush of pilgrims at Mina kills about 250 pilgrims and injures hundreds on the final day of the hajj ceremonies.
- February 11, 2003:?14 devotees, including six woken, die on the first day of the stoning ritual.
- March 5, 2001:?A stampede at Mina during the final day of the pilgrimage ceremonies kills 35 hajj pilgrims.
- April 9, 1998:?More than 118 people are killed and 180 injured in a stampede at Mina.
- April 15, 1997:?343 pilgrims are killed in a fire at the tent city of Mina as the blaze is aided by high winds. More than 1,500 are injured.
- May 24, 1994:?270 pilgrims are killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual at Mina, an incident authorities attribute to record numbers of pilgrims at the site.
- July 2, 1990:?A huge stampede occurs in a tunnel at Mina after a failure in its ventilation system kills 1,426 pilgrims, mainly from Asia.
- July 10, 1989:?A twin attack on the outside of the Grand Mosque kills one and wounds 16. Sixteen Kuwaiti Shias are found guilty of the crime and executed weeks later.
- July 31, 1987:?Saudi security forces suppress an unauthorised protest held by Iranian pilgrims. More than 400 people, including 275 Iranians are killed, according to an official toll.
- November 20, 1979:?Hundreds of gunmen opposed to the Saudi government barricade themselves inside the Grand Mosque, taking dozens of pilgrims hostage. The official toll of the assault and subsequent fighting is 153 people dead and 560 wounded.
- December 1975:?A huge fire started by a gas canister exploding in a pilgrim camp close to Mecca kills 200 people.
Condolences for the 2015 Mecca tragedy victims were offered not only by people on social media, but also from presidents as well as publications. Here is the statement of South Africa acting President Cyril Ramaphosa followed by McGill Publiction?s message, then the tweets of netizens:
??While the South African government awaits information about the status of South African pilgrims? acting president Ramaphosa has expressed South Africa’s shared grief at this substantial loss of life? ?Acting president Ramaphosa said that for South Africans? the stampede was particularly tragic given its coincidence with Heritage Day? an occasion dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the nation and humanity at large.? ?statement by Department on International Reltations and Cooperation.
?Condolences to those touched by tragedy in Mecca. McGill would like to express its most sincere condolences to anyone who has been touched by the tragic event near Mecca, where more than 700 people died in the crush of crowds taking part in the last major rite of the Hajj pilgrimage earlier today?.? -McGill Publications
Express my condolence to the families of hundreds of pilgrims,victims of the tragedy in Mecca,and pray for the recovery of the wounded #Iran
— Maryam Radjavi (@Maryam_Rajavi_F) September 24, 2015
heartfelt condolence to the families who lost their dear ones in #Mecca tragedy
— nahush jain (@jainnahush) September 24, 2015