Muslim pilgrims take part in the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, June 16, 2024.

Death Toll From Iranian Pilgrims at Hajj Rises to 11

Tuesday, 06/18/2024

The death toll among Iranian pilgrims participating in this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to 11 as extreme heat and crowding see fatalities mounting.

Pirhossein Koolivand, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent, confirmed on Tuesday that an additional 26 pilgrims are currently receiving medical treatment in Saudi hospitals in addition to those who have died at the annual religious event.

Koolivand said the pilgrims' health status is "good and suitable", claiming that medical staff dispatched from Iran to accompany pilgrims attended to over 11,000 cases.

A Muslim pilgrim pours water on his head to cool down from the heat, as he takes part in the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, June 17, 2024.

On Sunday, Mohammed Al-Abdulaali, a spokesman for Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry, said in one day, over 2,760 pilgrims experienced sunstroke and heat stress at the Hajj attracting around 1.8 million to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

To combat the mass of yearly deaths that occur, Saudi officials have implemented several safety measures, such as climate-controlled environments and extensive medical services, mitigating the health dangers associated with the extreme heat.

Last year, the pilgrimage saw as many as 240 deaths, with temperatures soaring to about 48 degrees Celsius.

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