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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pakistan condoles death of Umrah pilgrims in bus accident in Saudi Arabia

At least 20 Umrah pilgrims died and dozens were injured in a horrific bus crash in Saudi Arabia. The bus carrying them overturned collided with a bridge and caught fire in Aqaba Shaar in the Asir region.

Pakistan has expressed grief over the death of Umrah pilgrims in a horrific bus crash in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the incident which left 20 dead and dozens injured.

In a press statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his deep grief over the death of Umrah pilgrims who were killed in the bus accident.

The prime minister expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of the injured. He also prayed for the departed souls.

Read more: 25 Pakistani bikers reached Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah

Furthermore, National Assembly speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani also expressed their grief over the death of the Umrah pilgrims. They prayed for the recovery of the injured and extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families.

The bus was on its way to Mecca when it underwent a brake failure, which caused it to crash into a barrier at the end of a bridge, overturn and catch fire. Twenty pilgrims were killed and another twenty-nine were injured.

According to Saudi media, the accident occurred around 4 pm on the 14 km-long Aqabat Shaar road in the Asir province, as the bus was traveling from Khamis Mushayt to Abha.

Videos circulating online showed the bus completely engulfed in flames. Civil defense teams reached the completely destroyed bus off the edge of a mountain road.

All roads leading to Aqabat Shaar were closed off to allow teams from the civil defense and the Red Crescent to pass through. The injured passengers were transported to hospitals to undergo treatment.

The crash comes during Ramadan, which sees an influx of Muslims making the journey to Mecca to perform Umrah during the holy month.

Earlier in 2019, a previous bus accident near Medina killed 35 foreigners and injured four others. The privately chartered bus collided with a heavy vehicle. The victims were Arab and Asian expatriates.

Read more: PM performs Umrah, prays for country’s progress, prosperity

Transporting worshippers around the holy sites, particularly during the hajj, is a huge challenge for Saudi Arabia. During the pilgrimage, the roads can be chaotic with thousands of buses creating interminable traffic jams at all hours.