The Mina Stampede Death Toll Just Keeps Growing – Now at 1,300 and Climbing with Hundreds Still Listed as Missing

mina stampede

Indian and Pakistani authorities say the death toll from last week’s stampede near the Muslim holy city of Mecca has climbed to 1,100. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush.

An estimated 2 million people are undertaking the traditional hajj pilgrimage. Reuters, citing Saudi state television, reported that the stampede took place in Mina, a tent city located approximately three miles east of Mecca itself. The area is on the main road from the center of Mecca to the Hill of Arafat, revered by Muslims as the place where Muhammad gave his farewell sermon to Muslims who had accompanied him to Mecca near the end of his life.

It was the second major disaster during this year’s hajj season, raising questions about the adequacy of measures put in place by Saudi authorities to ensure the safety of the roughly 2 million Muslims taking part in the pilgrimage. A crane collapse in Mecca nearly two weeks earlier left 111 people dead.

Photos released by the Saudi civil defense directorate on its official Twitter account showed rescue workers in orange and yellow vests helping the wounded onto stretchers and loading them onto ambulances near some of the white tents.

Many of the victims were crushed and trampled to death as they were on their way to perform a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone columns in Mina.

Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction.

“I saw someone trip over someone in a wheelchair and several people tripping over him. People were climbing over one another just to breathe,” said one of the survivors, Abdullah Lotfy, 44, from Egypt. “It was like a wave. You go forward and suddenly you go back.”

Lotfy said that having two flows of pilgrims interacting in this way should never have happened. “There was no preparation. What happened was more than they were ready for,” he said of the Saudi authorities.

UPDATE: The death toll according to some Middle East sources is now beyond 1,300 with an additional 1,185 hundreds STILL listed as missing.

UPDATE 2: The Iranians are pissed, but they might have some valid points to, so there will be some fallout over this incident. Expect some Shia on Sunni violence, well, more than usual.

  • Wow, that Allah sure is mean!

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      That Allah is a bastard.

      • Mal

        Even bastards get one right once in a while, DBN!
        I mean, I never thought I’d ever agree with The Dauphin OR Suzuki, but they both got one right the other day.

  • Drunk_by_Noon


  • Ron MacDonald

    Uncivilized savages.

  • Hard Little Machine


  • TJ

    The final death toll will never being known other than to Allah.

    • Mal

      More’s the pity.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The Saudis are neophytes when it comes to the Hajj, having been in charge less than 100 of its 1400 years. That said, the explosive growth of the Muslim population means greater numbers of pilgrims, with the likelihood of these disasters growing in numbers and scope.

  • tom_billesley

    Throwing stones at three stone columns representing shaytan? I thought they were anti-trinitarian.

  • David Murrell

    The pro-Islamist Globe and Mail buried the story deep in its “world” news section, keeping this story off of its home and news pages. CBC News? Nary a word about this sudden rise in the death toll estimate. Not a thing on its web page. Seems like Saudi Arabia and Islam have friends in high places.

  • T.C.

    I had been expecting another MERS type situation to show up. Instead it appears that allah is being less subtle than usual and taking the direct approach this year.

  • John

    I’d read that the Haj authorities had halted the procession of devil stoners in order to let a Saudi prince go by in his motorcade. The sudden halt ( the prince was probably hungry) caused people to start falling over each other until a wild stampede ensued.

    The prince enjoyed his meal.

    • Blacksmith

      That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    • infedel

      …or — as the self proclaimed ‘prince’ raced his Western Ferrari (the only western allowed in mecca) through the crowds people started “falling over each other”.

  • They’re all saying it’s not so bad, though, because it’s really great to die on the hajj. Quick ticket to heaven and all that.

    I guess if they really cared they’d be getting more pilgrims killed.

    • Al_the_Fish

      So, are you suggesting a stampede is a feature, and not a bug? 😉

      • Not me, but a lot of Muslims seem to be.

      • Mal

        Thinning the herd is supposed to be a good thing, no? That’s always been what my ecoist superiors reckon, I thought.

    • Blacksmith

      So nuking mecca during the hajj would be a good thing?

    • tom_billesley

      They even wear a shroud while on the hajj. That’s foresight.

      • Their women all wear shrouds anyway. They’re the walking dead.

  • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

    Allahu akbar.

  • moraywatson

    Shut it down! 5 pillars of islam were too many anyhow. Get rid of hajj. And get rid of the jihadi/terrorism pillar too. 3 pillars are more than plenty for a totalitarian death cult.

    • DVult

      One pillar is enough. Shut the f up and stop bothering everyone.

  • noneof yerbusiness

    I can’t muster up anything but indifference to their deaths. Follow a death cult, expect to be extinguished and often with violence.