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Haj stampede: Indian volunteers arrive, bodies to be identified

New Delhi: Indian volunteers have reached Makkah in Saudi Arabia to help the authorities following the stampede tragedy on Thursday that killed over 700 people, including an Indian. The identification of the bodies is still on, officials said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that “Indian volunteers have reached in large numbers and are assisting the local authorities” at Makkah.

Over 800 pilgrims were injured in the disaster that took place on the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice.

She said “Our embassy officials have reported that the process of identification of bodies is on. This will take at least 24 hours.”

“After this Saudi authorities will disclose their identity with photographs.”

She also said that two Indian officials have reached the site at Makkah to aid Indian pilgrims.

Bibi Jaan, an elderly resident of Hyderabad, had died and an unidentified man from Lakshadweep had been injured in the tragedy.

Thursday’s stampede took place barely two weeks after a massive crane fell in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people and injuring over 200. Eleven of the dead were Indians.