No fewer than 64 Nigerian pilgrims have been confirmed dead, while 71 were injured and 244 declared missing in Saudi Arabia following last Thursday’s stampede, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said.
The Street Journal recalls that no fewer than 749 pilgrims have been reported to have died, while 805 others injured, while on their way to perform the Jamrat ritual of “stoning the devil’’ in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
Briefing newsmen on Tuesday on the incident’s update in Mecca, NAHCON spokesman, Alhaji Uba Mana, said the death toll rose from the initial figure of 30, to 64.
According to Mana, of the 64 deceased pilgrims, 46 were transported to Saudi Arabia by state pilgrims’ welfare agencies and 18 by private tour operators.
He further explained that 12 of the 71 injured pilgrims were transported to Saudi Arabia by tour operators and 59 by state pilgrims’ welfare agencies.
Mana gave a breakdown of the states which recorded deceased pilgrims as Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, Jigawa, FCT, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers Sokoto, Yobe, Taraba, and Zamfara States.
The Street Journal also recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed NAHCON and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to compile an update on Nigeria’s casualty figure in the tragedy.