A bus ferrying pilgrims to the holy metropolis of Mecca burst into flames after a collision on a bridge on Monday, killing 20 individuals and injuring greater than two dozen others, Saudi state media reported.
The incident within the southern province of Asir highlights persistent challenges to soundly transporting worshippers to Mecca and Medina, the holiest cities in Islam.
It comes through the first week of Ramadan, a busy time for umrah pilgrimages, and simply months earlier than thousands and thousands of Muslims are anticipated to make the annual hajj pilgrimage.
“In response to preliminary data we’ve now obtained, the variety of deaths on this accident reached 20, and the entire variety of accidents was roughly 29,” the state-affiliated Al-Ekhbariya channel reported.
It stated the victims had “completely different nationalities” however didn’t point out them or present a breakdown.
The channel stated the bus had “automotive hassle”, with out specifying, whereas the non-public newspaper Okaz stated the accident resulted from a difficulty with the brakes.
The car “then collided with a bridge, overturned and caught hearth”.
Footage broadcast on Al-Ekhbariya confirmed a reporter standing in entrance of what seemed to be the burnt-out shell of the bus.
Transporting worshippers round Saudi Arabia’s holy websites is a dangerous activity, significantly through the hajj, when roads might be chaotic with buses creating interminable site visitors jams.
In October 2019, some 35 foreigners had been killed and 4 others injured when a bus collided with one other heavy car close to Medina.
But pilgrimages are an integral part of a burgeoning tourism sector that Saudi officers hope will assist diversify the dominion’s economic system away from fossil fuels.
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