Stampeding Mecca to Stone the Devil (photos)

Sep 25, 2015

Heat-exhausted Haji pilgrims stampeding Mecca on Thursday left hundreds crushed to death, in the worst such incident to occur during the religious stoning ritual in decades. 

Stampeding Mecca to Stone the Devil (photos)

Saudi authorities in Islam’s holy city say nearly 1000 people were injured in the fracas and over 700 bodies of those trampled to death have so far been recovered.

And the dead keep “piling up.”

The bloody Mecca stampede began when two separate mobs of worshippers converged at a notorious intersection leading to and from the ancient site located about two more miles away.

“Heavy pushing ensued,” according to one eyewitness who barely escaped with his own life. “I'm at a loss of words to describe what happened,” he told reporters. “This massive pushing is what caused the high number of casualties among the pilgrims.”

Mecca on high alert after Mina stampede

Millions of Moslems embark on the pilgrimage annually, engaging in traditional rites along the way including the “stoning of the devil” at a sacred wall in Mina, near where the catastrophe took place.

The grueling 5-day trek leaves participants weak from scorching heat and thirst, which accounts for why so many of yesterday’s victims were unable to get back on their feet once they were knocked to the ground.

“If you fell -- if you weren't strong enough to withstand the pushing and shoving -- you weren't going to get up again.”

Eponymous Rox

 

 

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