The sprawling five-story Jamarat bridge in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. October 28, 2009 (Photo: Omar Chatriwala / Al-Jazeera English / Flickr) - Credit: The sprawling five-story Jamarat bridge in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. October 28, 2009 (Photo: Omar Chatriwala / Al-Jazeera English / Flickr)
Friday, September 25, 2015 - 12:35
Dutch woman killed in Mecca pilgrimage panic
A 62-year-old Muslim woman from the Netherlands was killed in a stampede during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Local authorities say that the incident took place on Thursday, and have reported at least 717 people dead with over 800 more injured. There are so far no indications of any other Dutch nationals hurt or killed in the tragedy, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders announced. The Dutch victim was from Emmen, Drenthe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent its condolences to her relatives, as well as to the local Islamic community. The Ministry said it is also monitoring the situation closely and is in contact with tour operators. Consular assistance is being provided from the embassy in Riyadh, and the Ministry at The Hague. The Saudi Minister of Health, Khaled al-Falih, blamed pilgrims for the stampede saying that they neglected instructions set out to manage the masses making the sacred journey.