Annual pilgrimage to Mecca has history of fatal accidents

The deaths of more than 700 people near Mecca on Thursday were the latest in a series of incidents at the annual pilgrimage. Here are some of the others:

Haj stampede is deadliest event since 1990 crush that killed 1,426 people

Saudi emergency personnel transport a Hajj pilgim on a stretcher at the site where more than 700 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca Thursday. (STR/AFP/Getty)

More than 700 pilgrims were killed in a crush at hajj on Thursday, the deadliest such incident since 1990. Here are some other fatal events at hajj in past years:

December 1975 — A cooking gas cylinder explodes in the pilgrim tent city, causing a fire that kills over 200 pilgrims.

July 1987 — Iranian protesters clash with Saudi police, leading to the death of more than 400 Iranian pilgrims.

July 1990 — Inside the al-Muaissem tunnel near Mecca in Saudi Arabia, 1,426 pilgrims are crushed to death. The accident occurs on Eid al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), Islam's most important feast at the end of the hajj and the day of the "stoning of the devil" ritual.

May 1994 — A stampede near Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Mecca, kills 270 in the area where pilgrims ritually stone the devil.

April 1997 — A tent fire kills 343 pilgrims at the hajj camp at Mina, prompting the government to construct a permanent, fireproof tent city there.

April 1998 — One hundred and nineteen Muslim pilgrims are crushed to death in Saudi Arabia at the hajj.

February 2004 — A stampede kills 251 Muslim pilgrims in Saudi Arabia near the Jamarat Bridge during the stoning of the devil.

January 2006 — Some 362 Muslim pilgrims are crushed to death at the eastern entrance of the Jamarat Bridge during the stoning ritual.

September 2015 — A crane crashes into the Grand Mosque days before hajj begins, crushing 111 people to death.

September 2015 — A crush of pilgrims traveling from the camp at Mina to the Jamarat bridge kills at least 700, Saudi civil defence says.


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