Sushma, who is in the USA, said: “The exact number will be known after confirmation by Saudi authorities”. Thursday’s disaster was the worst to befall the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca.
The minister told reporters Thiruvananthapuram that according to reports received so far, no Keralite was injured or dead.
In Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry said the Indian Mission in Jeddah was continuously monitoring the situation.
Prophet Abraham, who is said to have stoned the devil at three locations when he tried to dissuade Abraham from God’s order to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
In recent days there has been a spate of incidents in Mecca, where more than two million Muslim pilgrims have gathered for the annual Haj pilgrimage.
Relatives of those pilgrims can use this service to know the whereabouts of their kin.
It said more than 220 ambulances and 4,000 rescue workers had been sent to the stampede’s location to help the wounded.
Dozens of bodies covered in white cloths were lying on the ground along with personal items like shoes, umbrellas etc scattered around them. In 2006, 364 pilgrims were killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina, among them 51 Indians.
The injured were shifted to nearby hospitals.
TV visuals showed rescuers taking away the injured, some in wheel chairs. He also directed the Minority Welfare secretary, Omar Jaleel to ensure that all Haj pilgrims from Telangana are safe. Here are some other fatal events at Haj in past years.
Two weeks ago 110 people died in Mecca’s Grand Mosque when a crane working on an expansion project collapsed during a storm and toppled off the roof into the main courtyard, crushing pilgrims underneath. “Our group was large, and if we had been scheduled for the stone pelting at the same time as the stampede, it could have been a major tragedy”.
At least 51 Indians were among 364 pilgrims killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina in 2006.