Photo of Mecca, June 18, 2024

Over 1,300 Pilgrims Die During Hajj Amid Extreme Heat

Sunday, 06/23/2024

Over 1,300 pilgrims died during this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia, more than five times the number reported last year, the Saudi government announced, as heatwaves spread across the world.

The majority of the deceased were Egyptians, accounting for 672 deaths, while 236 were Indonesians, Reuters reported.

According to India's External Affairs agency, 98 Indian citizens also died during this year’s Hajj.

Additional fatalities were reported from Tunisia, Jordan, Iran, and Senegal, bringing the total death toll to 1,301, according to the Saudi Hajj Ministry.

The Iranian death toll reached 17 on Saturday, with an additional 26 pilgrims hospitalized, as confirmed by the Iranian authorities.

In Egypt, where the majority of the deceased pilgrims were from, Reuters reported that a crisis unit has suspended the licenses of 16 tourism companies and referred them to the public prosecutor.

These companies are accused of being responsible for the deaths, primarily among unregistered pilgrims. The unit also confirmed that 31 officially registered pilgrims died due to chronic illnesses.

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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