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  1. #1
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    700 dead and rising in disaster at Mecca, Saudi Arabia

    Over 700 people are dead and at least 860 have been injured in a crush during the Hajj pilgrimage at Mina, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Bodies are reported to be piled high in places and victims will be from throughout the globe. Figures are likely to rise.

    The King of Saudi Arabia has ordered an investigation. The King and his family own and have authority over the sites.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34346449


    This is just the latest (and worse) in a string of disasters to strike the Islamic holy festival. The last was only a couple of weeks ago when someone decided it was a good idea to have sky-high cranes towering over crowds there an one fell, killing 109. Our thread for that incident is here:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...n-Saudi-Arabia
    Attached Images Attached Images
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


    Flyers/FB/Case Overview&Media Links
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  2. #2
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    Sad and horrific.
    When people gather in such large groups, there needs to be some form of crowd control ! Wonder what set off the panic ?
    Since hearing on the news more than a decade ago about the Rhode Island nightclub tragedy, I've been extremely leery of going to any event where I'd find myself packed into a crowd.
    Rest in peace to all of the victims ! Condolences to their families.

  3. #3
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    I have read the that every few years Mina experiences stampedes with deaths up to 300+. So sad.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    It is really sad and so so many people. 700 dead wow. There are millions of people who come and they have to change whatever they are doing. Surely the government can change time frames to make people come at different days so they don't have over a million trying to get there on same days.

    I am sure whatever scripture says to make the journey would have allowances to come on a different day to prevent being killed.

    Since that fire in the NJ nightclub happened I too am much more conciounse (sp) of places where I could get trapped in a fire and I always try to know where the exits are wherever I go.

    We had went to a comedy show not too long ago and the place was a total death trap if a fire ever broke out. I noticed it as the previous show was letting out that it took people forever to get out before they let us in. Once Inside I knew what the problem was immediately. There was only 2 main doors and everyone had to funnel to those doors.

    It was incredible and the worst setup I had seen in a long time. Once inside there literally was no way out except to get to those 2 doors on one side. It took about 30 minutes for everyone to exit orderly. If there was ever a fire it would be a total disaster. The only way to fix that place is to knock a hole in the other walls and create more doors. I am unfortunately waiting for the day where I see on the news that the tragedy happens there. I refuse to go to any event in that place again. It had an eery scary feeling in the place and it is a death trap once inside.

  5. #5
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    Saudi authorities are once again blaming the victims themselves but are coming in for heavy criticism from other countries that have lost citizens. Iran has accused them of incompetence and demanded reps from the victim's countries have a place in the Saudi investigation.

    I heard an English expert (sorry, didn't catch his name) speaking on BBC radio today. He said Saudi authorities invested billions in improving safety after the last disasters and he was hired to provide advice there himself. There is a list of the nationalities of the dead at the link but I see it hasn't included an Austrian and Japanese victim yet, who were just announced as being among the dead.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34357383

    This link comes with a TRIPLE WARNING. GRAPHIC.

    I was searching for photos of the exact location where the crush happened. I found some. The bodies were indeed 'piled high' and shocked me to the core. With bitter irony, they look similar to the photos of the piles of dead found in concentration camps. But what shocked me even more - it appears the crowds of pilgrims were chanelled into open-air 'corridors'. A fatal mistake in itself, but to make it even deadlier, some dang fool lined the sides with high metal railings, ensuring there could be no escape from the crush. I have no education in crowd control but even I know that's a mistake, from England's Hillsborough disaster years ago.

    I fear the people truly responsible for this huge loss of life will once again escape any punishment and it will happen again, in my opinion. I wish other countries would start issuing travel warnings for Saudi Arabia, during this festival. Might save a few lives next time.

    GRAPHIC photos at link but they show exactly how people were trapped.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics...ampede-photos/
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


    Flyers/FB/Case Overview&Media Links
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  6. #6
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    http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk...t-to-700-dead/

    Crowd-control experts believe victims in the crowd were more likely to have died of compressive suffocation, rather than a "stampede." Abdullah Lotfy of Egypt told the Associated Press, "People were climbing over one another just to breathe... It was like a wave.
    IMO

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zwiebel View Post
    Saudi authorities are once again blaming the victims themselves but are coming in for heavy criticism from other countries that have lost citizens. Iran has accused them of incompetence and demanded reps from the victim's countries have a place in the Saudi investigation.

    I heard an English expert (sorry, didn't catch his name) speaking on BBC radio today. He said Saudi authorities invested billions in improving safety after the last disasters and he was hired to provide advice there himself. There is a list of the nationalities of the dead at the link but I see it hasn't included an Austrian and Japanese victim yet, who were just announced as being among the dead.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34357383

    This link comes with a TRIPLE WARNING. GRAPHIC.

    I was searching for photos of the exact location where the crush happened. I found some. The bodies were indeed 'piled high' and shocked me to the core. With bitter irony, they look similar to the photos of the piles of dead found in concentration camps. But what shocked me even more - it appears the crowds of pilgrims were chanelled into open-air 'corridors'. A fatal mistake in itself, but to make it even deadlier, some dang fool lined the sides with high metal railings, ensuring there could be no escape from the crush. I have no education in crowd control but even I know that's a mistake, from England's Hillsborough disaster years ago.

    I fear the people truly responsible for this huge loss of life will once again escape any punishment and it will happen again, in my opinion. I wish other countries would start issuing travel warnings for Saudi Arabia, during this festival. Might save a few lives next time.

    GRAPHIC photos at link but they show exactly how people were trapped.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics...ampede-photos/
    that was somewhat graphic, but probably not as graphic as 1990 when over 1400 died there. dunno if attendance is up from then (probably) but every year there are more noobs for sure, unfamiliar with the place. or maybe heedless of the risk, like with the running of the bulls, theres a risk but you gotta do it at least once, to say you were there.

    tho the official story continues to be its what allah wanted to happen (coping mechanism?) & thats why they were there in the first place
    “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

    ― William Wilberforce

    "Be sure and make a good job of it!"

    -Harry Harbord Morant

    "All we ask is to be let alone."

    -Jefferson Davis

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LietKynes View Post
    Sad and horrific.
    When people gather in such large groups, there needs to be some form of crowd control ! Wonder what set off the panic ?
    Since hearing on the news more than a decade ago about the Rhode Island nightclub tragedy, I've been extremely leery of going to any event where I'd find myself packed into a crowd.
    Rest in peace to all of the victims ! Condolences to their families.
    I remember how awful the Rhode Island fire was....I had never read about an incident like that before. It was horrible to imagine being in such a terrifying situation. I definitely scope out exits when I enter crowded situations now as you just never know.

    Prayers for all involved.

  9. #9
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    http://www.latimes.com/world/middlee...925-story.html

    In Iran and elsewhere, the calamity raised anew questions about whether the oil-rich kingdom has adequate infrastructure and safeguards to handle an event that is considered the world’s largest yearly gathering of humanity. Organizing the hajj is a massive logistical challenge.

    Aside from its religious significance, the hajj is also a major generator of income, reportedly second only to oil revenues for Saudi Arabia.
    IMO

  10. #10
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    probably why they continued on like nothing happened
    "Yesterday's stampede was a catastrophe. We were shocked, but we can do nothing, this was their fate," said Lolo Omar, a pilgrim from Eritrea, said near the site of the disaster in the town of Mina
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/2015...8b100ef4a.html
    “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

    ― William Wilberforce

    "Be sure and make a good job of it!"

    -Harry Harbord Morant

    "All we ask is to be let alone."

    -Jefferson Davis


  11. #11
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    http://ilmfeed.com/which-countries-h...hajj-pilgrims/

    Around 700,000 of those will comprise of local pilgrims and 1.3million will be from other countries around the world. Millions apply from Muslim-majority countries but due to a quota system, not everyone is able to come – the Saudi authorities usually assign 1000 places for each million Muslim per country.

    hajj-quotas-featured1-830x450.png
    IMO

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangelo View Post
    that was somewhat graphic, but probably not as graphic as 1990 when over 1400 died there. dunno if attendance is up from then (probably) but every year there are more noobs for sure, unfamiliar with the place. or maybe heedless of the risk, like with the running of the bulls, theres a risk but you gotta do it at least once, to say you were there.

    tho the official story continues to be its what allah wanted to happen (coping mechanism?) & thats why they were there in the first place
    Emphasis added:

    1. No, you don't do the hajj to "say you were there". You do it because the Qu'ran requires you to make the pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime. It's more analogous to Christian baptism than to spending New Year's Eve in Time Square just to "say you were there".

    2. Muslim theology teaches that everything that happens is the will of Allah. So coping mechanism or not, it is to be expected that devout Muslims will consider the massacre to be the will of God.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophieRose View Post
    http://ilmfeed.com/which-countries-h...hajj-pilgrims/

    Around 700,000 of those will comprise of local pilgrims and 1.3million will be from other countries around the world. Millions apply from Muslim-majority countries but due to a quota system, not everyone is able to come – the Saudi authorities usually assign 1000 places for each million Muslim per country.

    With the worldwide population of Muslims now exceeding one billion, maybe it's time to discourage believers from making yearly trips. After all, the Qu'ran only requires that one complete the Hajj once in a lifetime.

    BTW, we shouldn't be surprised that Iran is highly critical of the Saudi authorities. Iran and Saudi Arabia represent different factions of Muslims and are jostling for leadership of the Middle East.

  14. #14
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    http://travel.state.gov/content/pass...n/go/Hajj.html

    The Saudi government imposes strict penalties for people who perform Hajj without a permit. You must ensure that you have been issued a permit and that you are using an approved travel agent. According to the advertisement campaign, non-Saudis who perform Hajj without a permit face immediate deportation and a 10-year ban on returning to Saudi Arabia.

    snip

    Foreign Muslim residents of Saudi Arabia may perform the Hajj once every five years. Advance approval must be obtained from an immigration office with the approval of the Saudi sponsor. U.S. citizen residents of Saudi Arabia must travel with Saudi-government-approved sponsor groups to perform Hajj.
    IMO

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Emphasis added:

    1. No, you don't do the hajj to "say you were there". You do it because the Qu'ran requires you to make the pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime. It's more analogous to Christian baptism than to spending New Year's Eve in Time Square just to "say you were there".

    2. Muslim theology teaches that everything that happens is the will of Allah. So coping mechanism or not, it is to be expected that devout Muslims will consider the massacre to be the will of God.
    BBM.

    This is entirely true.There is little will among the devout and faithful to hold anyone (and certainly not government officials) "accountable" for making changes that would lead to improved safety for all Hajj pilgrims. Every aspect of a devout muslim's life is about being subordinate to the will of Allah/ God. And everything that happens has the hand of Allah/ God in it.

    It is not for us to question (or "fix"), but we are to subordinate ourselves to whatever "happens". "Inshallah" neither assigns guilt, nor mandates (or even encourages) any personal or collective responsibility. Hundreds of pilgrims die almost annually at the Hajj. Nothing substantial changes.

    If the local grocery is out of apples......the response of the majority is "inshallah".

    If a child dies from a preventable illness....."inshallah".

    If someone becomes wealthy from their business......."inshallah".

    If there is a car accident, and the women and children die because they were loaded into the bed of a pickup truck first before the men were placed on top of them, ..........."inshallah".

    If nearly 1000 pilgrims die during the Hajj from the crush of out-of-control crowd behavior....."inshallah". And they are almost considered "lucky" in that culture, since they died performing the Hajj duty of a faithful muslim. Allah called them home. Who are we to criticize when Allah calls the faithful home?

    "Inshallah" is all-purpose, covers every possible situation, and absolves everyone of nearly all responsibility. IMO, it is impossible to understand how pervasive this "cultural theme" is unless you have spent some time in the middle east countries. Then you begin to understand "inshallah".

    Nothing, IMO, will substantially change in Saudi Arabia because of this human catastrophe. There will be many deaths next year, and in years to come. IMO, they are incapable of making safety changes of their own accord simply because it will save lives and make things safer for all pilgrims-- they will only do so if they feel some aspect of their government is threatened (economically or otherwise) from world sanctions if they do not. The government authorities are only motivated by outside criticism that affects their reputation or $$, IMO. They don't care for the safety of their own people-- they leave those details up to Allah. IMO.

    (The opinion of one who has spent time in the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia in particular.)

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