Sunday, September 27, 2015
Death in Mecca
Saudi officials said a total of 13,74,206 foreign pilgrims arrived for Hajj this year.
Thousands of Muslim pilgrims stone the walls, in a ritual called "Jamarat," symbolizing the stoning the devil, in Mina near the Saudi holy city of Mecca.
Every year, millions of Muslims converge on Saudi Arabia's holy cities of Mecca and Medina for the Hajj pilgrimage, representing a major security and logistical challenge for the kingdom. On occasion, the Hajj and events surrounding it have been marred by tragedy. A look at some of the deadly incidents:
2015: Officially, 769 people are killed and more than 800 injured in a crush of pilgrims on September 22, in Mina, on the outskirts of Mecca.
2015: On September 11, 2015, a crane collapses in a storm and crashes onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 111 people are killed and injuring nearly 400.
2006: More than 360 pilgrims are killed in a stampede in Mina, near Mecca, where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil. A day before the Hajj begins, the collapse of an eight-story building used as a hostel near the Grand Mosque kills 73.
2004: A crush of pilgrims at Mina kills 244 people and injures hundreds on the Hajj's final day.
2001: A stampede at Mina on the final day of the Hajj kills 35 people.
1998: About 180 people are trampled to death in panic after several of them fall from an overpass during the stoning ritual at Mina.
1997: At least 340 pilgrims are killed in a wind-whipped fire at a tent city in Mina. More than 1,500 are injured.
1994: About 270 people are killed in a stampede during the Mina ritual.
1990: A stampede kills 1,426 people at an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to the holy sites in Mecca in the worst Hajj-related tragedy.
Across the Sands to Mecca: The Song of a Shriner (1947) book cover (from the Freemasonry's Shriners) is courtesy of Adam Parfrey, coauthor of Ritual America.