The 10-Minute Mecca Stampede That Made History

Just after nine A.M. on September 24, 2015, during the annual Muslim pilgrimage known as the hajj, an accident occurred near the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, that stands as the deadliest in the long history of hajj disasters. The numbers are disputed, but by reasonable estimate more than 2,400 pedestrians were trampled and crushed to death in a period of about 10 minutes. The event was widely reported as a stampede, a term that evokes visions of panicked herds and zealots, but the opposite was actually the case. There was indeed a giant herd, but the zealots within it could not escape, let alone run, and the panic that broke out was the result and not the cause of the carnage.