Egyptian death toll in Mecca hajj stampede rises to 146: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Oct 2015

Investigations into the hajj tragedy are being conducted by Saudi Arabian authorities

Members of Saudi Red Crescent tend to pilgrims who were victims of a crush caused by large numbers of people pushing at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca in this handout picture published on Facebook account of the Saudi Red Crescent September 24, 2015 (Reuters)

The number of Egyptian pilgrims killed in the Mecca stampede has risen to 146, the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Monday.

The foreign affairs ministry quoted statements from the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah who revealed the numbers in a meeting with various hajj and medical delegations on Sunday evening.

According to the consul general Adel El-Alfy, 11 Egyptians were injured while 92 were still unaccounted for.

The consulate said it is still confirming the number of dead, injured, and missing pilgrims and answering inquiries from families who are asking about the fate of relatives.

The stampede occurred on Thursday 24 September as pilgrims converged in Mena, just outside Mecca, to take part in a ritual involving the symbolic stoning of the devil.

Egypt’s foreign ministry and the ministry of endowments have been posting pictures and providing the numbers of information hotlines for the families of missing pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the minister of endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said yesterday that the cause of the incident will not be discussed before investigations are closed.

Investigations into the hajj tragedy are being conducted by Saudi Arabian authorities.

"All casualties have been buried and DNA samples have been taken from the unidentified bodies. It will take up to 12 days to identify these deceased pilgrims," Gomaa added.

DNA samples are expected to be collected from the families of missing pilgrims in Egypt from Monday, following the arrival of the health minister from Saudi Arabia.

The latest figures released on Saturday by Saudi authorities placed the death toll of the Mena stampede at 769, with at least 934 injured.

Almost two million pilgrims took part in the stoning ritual this year, with an estimated 62,000 Egyptians performing hajj in 2015

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