Coach Crash near Mecca Seriously Injures Blackburn Pilgrims

Coach Crash near Mecca Seriously Injures Blackburn Pilgrims

A coach carrying passengers from Blackburn, Britain, crashed in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

A coach carrying passengers from Blackburn, Britain, crashed in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The group were travelling on a coach provided by travel agent Sadat Hajj and Umrah, based on Whalley Range in the town.

It's reported that some passengers have serious injuries, but there have been no fatalities reported within the local group.

Sadly, the driver of the coach has been killed.

Rashid Mogradia is the chief executive at the Council of British Hajjis, he told The Bee what he knows of the accident:

"Whilst pilgrims were travelling to the holy city of Madina, we understand that a truck has veered into the path of the coach, which has caused a serious collision. The driver was killed and a number of British pilgrims were injured and hospitalised as a result."

Rashid says this is unfortunate after the stampede in Mecca last week:

"Any such accident has shed light on the safety concerns for the pilgrims. We're working with the tour operators and those hosting the Hajj to look into ways that these incidents can be reduced. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who's been affected.

"There are a couple of safety concerns that have come out over the recent days, one of which is obviously the stampede. Hajj has been incident free for the last 9 years and we need to make sure that Hajj is safe and secure for pilgrims to perform throughout the coming years.

"Regarding driver training for coaches that ferry people around the Holy site, we will be looking to make sure that drivers get the necessary instruction and the right amount of rest between journeys.

"It's natural that people will be concerned for the welfare of their loved ones and our helpline is open for any sort of support. The foreign office has been informed and they're available to help and assist British families and friends who may be concerned by the welfare of their loved ones.

"Hajj is a journey of faith and any able bodied Muslim, male or female, must complete it once in their lifetime, so we will see the numbers for Hajj continue. Saudi Arabia is actually putting in the infrastructure to host over 5million per year so it's absolutely critical to make sure that the safety and security is in place to host such numbers.

"I don't think this will put people off but people do want assurances from authorities and those in charge of facilitiating Hajj to make sure that it's as safe as possible, so that people can come away with a very positive Hajj experience.

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