Eyewitness account: The real cause of the Hajj tragedy, By Nigerian deputy governor who survived it

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Saudi Arabia | 27 September 2015 | 3,511 times

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Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Alh Samaila Dabai Yombe, has dismissed claims that Thursday’s Jamra tragedy in Saudi Arabia which claimed 769 lives and 934 left injured resulted from a stampede.

Alhaji Yombe, who survived the tragedy, said in an interview with our correspondent in Mina, Saudi Arabia: “Whoever said it was a stampede either does not know the meaning of a stampede or he is not saying the truth. What actually happened was that, the entire pilgrims scheduled to throw Jamrat at that time, were channeled to follow one particular street. At a time we got to a certain point around 8:00 a.m., a military vehicle was set across to create a barrier and then some of the Saudi soldiers were standing by, suggesting that you cannot pass beyond that point.

“About 5,000 people coming from same direction were not aware of the blocked road in front, which resulted to a ‘sardining’ so to speak, which made it very difficult for us to even stand. So, we continued to squat to make room for fresh air while the temperature was about 47 degrees Celsius.

“Pilgrims, in an effort to get fresh air, attempted to scale fences of tents on both sides of the road. Very few succeeded, while most people just succumb to the situation. It was at this juncture that we started seeing dead bodies piled up around us.”

•Photo shows pilgrims performing the Hajj

Source: News Express

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