Haj Stampede: Death Toll Of Indians Rises To 74

06/10/2015 1:04 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
ATTA KENARE via Getty Images
An Iranian woman mourns during a funeral procession for some of the Iranian pilgrims who were killed in a stampede at the annual hajj on October 4, 2015 in the capital Tehran. Ceremonies took place across Iran to honour citizens killed at the hajj, as a second plane returned the bodies of 114 pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- The death toll of Indians in the Haj stampede rose to 74 today with Saudi authorities announcing more casualties, even as scores of people are still missing after the worst tragedy in 25 years to hit the annual pilgrimage.

"Haj stampede - Saudi Arabia has released a further list. The Indian toll is now 74," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.

Scores of Indians and people from other nationalities are missing since the stampede at the annual Haj near the holy city of Mecca on September 24.

Swaraj had earlier said 78 Indians are missing and the government is doing everything to locate them.

According to reports, tallies of the dead from foreign officials and media put the toll at 1,036.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh has been rushed to Saudi Arabia to coordinate with the authorities there to trace the missing Indians.

Singh was asked by Swaraj to leave yesterday after Saudi government informed India that it will be interacting with individual countries regarding their nationals -both dead or missing.

The Minister of State will coordinate with the local authorities and strengthen the efforts of Consul General there.

The Haj stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.

It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca's Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians.

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