At least 20 pilgrims have died in a bus accident in Saudi Arabia, with another 29 people injured. The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, with state-run television channel Al-Ekhbariya reporting that the bus overturned in the Asir province before catching fire. The passengers were believed to have been traveling to the holy city of Mecca.
According to early reports, the cause of the accident was due to problems with the brakes. Authorities are investigating the incident to determine the exact cause of the tragedy.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has expressed its condolences to the families of the victims, and affirmed its commitment to ensuring the safety of pilgrims during their journeys. The ministry also stated that it would provide full support to those affected by the accident.
The annual Hajj pilgrimage is considered to be one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, with millions of Muslims from around the world traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj. The journey to Mecca is a significant part of the pilgrimage, with many pilgrims traveling long distances to reach the holy city.
Road accidents during the Hajj pilgrimage are unfortunately not uncommon. In 2015, more than 700 people died in a stampede during the Hajj, while another 200 died in a crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The Saudi government has taken steps to improve safety during the pilgrimage in recent years, including installing surveillance cameras and increasing the number of emergency responders.
As the investigation into the latest accident continues, authorities have reminded pilgrims and drivers to exercise caution on the roads, especially during the busy pilgrimage season.