Many pilgrims from different countries were killed in Saudi Arabia Friday after a severe thunder storm caused the fall of a construction crane in Ka’aba, Mecca, witnesses said.
The incident occurred around 5:37 p.m. Saudi Arabian time, just as pilgrims prepared for Magrib prayer.
“We were performing Tawaf as we awaited Magrib prayers around 5:37 p.m. when suddenly we cited a flying metal from sky scraper around sections of the Ka’aba undergoing expansion. The metal landed in Safa section were many were performing Sa’I.
“I immediately rushed to the area and saw many body parts, about 100 dead bodies, mostly Indonesian and many injured being evacuated. I did not see anybody in Nigerian uniform,” Saidu Liman Joga, a pilgrim from Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State, told newsmen.
“I saw many casualties, some of them in their Haram being evacuated, but I cannot ascertain the exact number,” another pilgrim, who did not identify herself said.
An official of the National Hajj Commission who would not want his name in print confirmed the incident to journalists.
“Yes, we received the report of what happened at Harami, but we are yet to
ascertain if any Nigerian pilgrim is affected,” he said.
The Saudi authorities have not given any official casualty figures.
In a related development, the heavy rainfall that followed resulted to heavy flooding that took over major roads in Mecca.
Motorist were forced to park and pilgrims were stranded due to the heavy downpour.
Normalcy has, however, returned and the scene of the incident is being cordoned off by Saudi security forces.