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Extreme Heat Kills Over 550 People During This Year’s Hajj – Officials

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Saudi Arabia Pilgrims
Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia [Credit: BBC]

Over 550 pilgrims reportedly died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Officials confirmed that the Islamic holy sites faced extremely high temperatures on Wednesday.

The tragedy has led many to flock to the emergency complex in Al-Muaisem, Mecca, in search of their missing loved ones.

Despite the growing concerns and the number of deaths, Saudi authorities have yet to comment on the exact death toll or the specific causes.

A circulating list online suggests that at least 550 people have perished during the five-day Hajj. A medic who spoke to AP verified the authenticity of the names on the list.

This medic and another official estimated that the facility currently holds at least 600 bodies.

The Hajj, which can draw over 2 million people to Saudi Arabia, has seen its share of fatalities over the years.

However, this year’s high death toll amid soaring desert temperatures has raised significant concern and highlighted the need for improved safety measures.

Families gathered at the emergency complex, desperately seeking information and also claiming the bodies of their relatives, adding to the overall distress and urgency for clarity and accountability from the authorities.

The pilgrimage, which every able Muslim is required to undertake once in their lifetime, has historically faced challenges, including stampedes and epidemics.

Read more: Rivers’s APC Calls For State Of Emergency, Says The State At War

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