Over 700 people killed in hajj pilgrimage stampede near Mecca

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At least 717 people were killed and 805 were injured in a stampede during the Hajj outside Mecca on Thursday, Saudi Arabia's civil defense authorities said.

Over 700 people killed in hajj pilgrimage stampede near Mecca

Medical teams were on the scene in Mina, which is about three miles from Mecca.

The stampede happened at the junction between Street 204 and Street 223 as pilgrims walked toward the Jamarat Bridge.

The death toll and injury numbers have been rising throughout the day, with authorities tweeting updates on the situation.

Amateur video shared on social media showed a horrific scene, with scores of bodies — the men dressed in the simple terry cloth garments worn during hajj — lying amid crushed wheelchairs and water bottles along a sunbaked street.

Survivors assessed the scene from the top of roadside stalls near white tents as rescue workers in orange and yellow vests combed the area.

Thursday's stampede was the deadliest disaster at the hajj for many years. In 2006, more than 360 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in the same area.

Earlier this month a crane collapsed at the famed Masjid al Haram mosque in Mecca leaving more than 100 dead and scores more wounded.

Each year between 2 million to 3 million Muslims from around the world take part in the five-day pilgrimage in Mecca. They circle Islam's most sacred site, the cube-shaped Kaaba, and take part in a series of intricate rituals.

Fuente: mashable.com
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