Aaj English TV

Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
10 Muharram 1446  

Videos purportedly showing Hajj pilgrims’ bodies go viral

More than half of the deceased were unregistered worshippers
A man affected by scorching heat is stretchered away during the hajj pilgrimage. AFP
A man affected by scorching heat is stretchered away during the hajj pilgrimage. AFP

Videos purportedly showing bodies of Hajj pilgrims on the streets of Makkah have gone viral on social media as the death toll from this year’s pilgrimage exceeded 1,000.

According to an AFP report, more than half of them were unregistered worshippers who performed the pilgrimage in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia.

Social media has been flooded with viral videos depicting the tragic scenes, showing pilgrims in their ihram garments lying lifeless on the streets, sidewalks, and in wheelchairs. The videos claim that the deceased pilgrims collapsed and died while on their way to the holy Haram, but “no ambulances arrived to transport the bodies.”

One of the videos alleged that the incident occurred after zuhr prayers on the first day of Eid, when pilgrims called for an ambulance in the afternoon and by Maghrib, the number of pilgrims “lying on the road had reached 14. During this time, no one moved them from the spot or provided any assistance.”

The videos further claim that the Mina emergency centre, where pilgrims were treated for heatstroke, was located 600 metres away from the site of the mass collapse while the Al-Aziziyah emergency centre was only 200 meters away from the location where the pilgrims fell unconscious.

Aaj News could not independently verify the videos.

Pilgrims in Mina were observed with water bottles poured over their heads while volunteers distributed cold drinks and rapidly melting chocolate ice cream to help them stay cool.

The Saudi authorities had earlier advised the pilgrims to use umbrellas, drink plenty of water, and refrain from exposing themselves to the scorching midday sun during the hottest hours of the day.

In addition to these advisory measures, large-scale efforts were also undertaken to protect the Hajj pilgrims from the sweltering heat.

The national meteorological centre reported a high of 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) this week at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

According to a Saudi study published last month, temperatures in the area are rising 0.4 degrees Celsius each decade.

Out of around 150,000 pilgrims, Pakistan has so far recorded 58 deaths, a diplomat briefed on the tally told AFP.

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