India raises death toll for citizens in hajj stampede to 18

India raises death toll for citizens in hajj stampede to 18

MINA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — India's Foreign Ministry says that the number of Indian citizens confirmed killed in a deadly stampede in the midst of the hajj pilgrimage has risen from 14 to 18.

Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Saturday in a press statement that his government was "working with Saudi authorities & family members" to confirm the identities of the deceased & expedite formalities for release of the bodies.

In the worst hajj disaster in a quarter century, at least 719 people were crushed or trampled to death, while 863 were injured when two huge waves of pilgrims converged Thursday on a street near a religious site in Mina. That followed an accident Sept. 11 in which a storm toppled a crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca that killed 111 people.

Source: “Associated Press”