A file photo of Muslim pilgrims praying around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca September 27, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
A fourth Egyptian pilgrim has died of natural causes at the start of the annual hajj season in Saudi Arabia, state-run news agency MENA reported on Monday, quoting Egypt’s health ministry.
The 70-year old man from Egypt’s Menoufiya died from heart failure while in Saudi Arabia, MENA said.
Egyptian and Saudi authorities are coordinating on arranging the death certificate and burial procedures.
On Sunday, MENA reported the third Egyptian death from natural causes, that of a 60-year-old woman, who also died of heart failure.
Pilgrims from Egypt began arriving in Saudi Arabia last week for the hajj, which begins either on August 30 or September 1, depending on the lunar calendar.
This year, around 80,000 Egyptian pilgrims will perform the hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a religious duty for all Muslims once in a lifetime who can afford the costly and difficult trip.
Last year, 43 Egyptian pilgrims died from natural causes during the pilgrimage.
The death of pilgrims due to heat exhaustion, fatigue and other natural causes is a common occurrence on the hajj.