Mecca Tragedy: Three Nigerians Sustain Injury
Buhari Condoles Saudi Authority Over Crane Accident
Three pilgrims from Nigeria are among the 238 people, who sustained injuries in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, last Friday, when a crane collapsed on a mosque, killing the initial 87 pilgrims. But death toll from the accident has since risen to 107.
It was gathered on Friday night that a black man was among the dead, but as at press time, the deceased is yet to be identified. “So far, no death is recorded (for Nigeria), but we’re still visiting the mortuaries,” National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Commissioner in charge of Health, Dr. Ibrahim Kana, said, yesterday.
A total of 76,000 Muslims from Nigeria will be participating in this year’s spiritual exercise. Already, 50,800 Nigerians are in Saudi Arabia. The airlift of pilgrims to Holy land started two weeks ago and it is expected to end before September 17, 2015 when the Saudi authorities will close the borders. The real hajj rituals will commence on September 22.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed heartfelt condolence to King Salman and the people of Saudi Arabia over lives that were lost in the country when a crane crashed on a mosque, Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) on Friday. Reports said the death toll from the crash has risen to 107, from 87 earlier reported.
In a statement by the president’s special adviser on media, Mr. Garba Shehu, President Buhari, “offered his thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed.”
He said, “The people and President of Nigeria wish to express shock and sadness over the accident in Mecca, involving a large number of fatalities amongst those attending ummrah (lesser Hajj). Our thoughts are with the families of those affected.”
The Presidency had earlier directed Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to take necessary action in ensuring the security and wellbeing of all Nigerian pilgrims in the holy land.
It also urged all Nigerians to pray for the continued safety of pilgrims, who are currently in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj, as well as, those who would be embarking on the journey in the coming days. . Saudi authorities yesterday promised to investigate the accident