New Delhi, Sep 13:
Nine more Indian Haj pilgrims have died in the crane crash accident at the Grand Mosque in Makkah in Saudi Arabia, taking the toll to 11 so far, the external affairs ministry said on Sunday.
Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in tweets that “after opening of mortuary on Sunday evening, officials working with relatives have confirmed that nine more Indians have unfortunately died” in the accident.
He said the Indian mission in Jeddah was extending all possible assistance to the families of the 11 deceased pilgrims to complete the formalities in Makkah.
He said Indian officials in Makkah were continuing to provide assistance to the 19 injured Indian pilgrims.
The ministry released a list of nine dead pilgrims — Mohd Hanif, Tabassum, Hassan Kharaj, Zafar Sheikh, Zakira Begum, Mohd Abdul Khadar, Fatima Begum, Shameem Bano, Khader Bee.
In Hyderabad, Telangana State Haj Committee’s special officer S.A. Shukoor told IANS that a couple hailing from Krishna district in coastal Andhra Pradesh had died.
They were among the nine Indian pilgrims who were identified in the mortuary. They were Abdul Khader (38) and his wife Fatima Begum (32).
The number of dead in the crane crash has gone up to 111 so far, while 331 people are injured.
The Indian mission has published its 24/7 helpline — 00966125458000, 00966125496000 — and toll free number 8002477786 for pilgrims within Saudi Arabia, the ministry statement said. (IANS)