London, Sunday 13th September 2015
As thousands arrive in Makkah (Mecca) ahead of this year’s Hajj, a crane smashed through the roof of the grand mosque on Friday 11th September killing dozens and injuring more than a two hundred. Eyewitnesses say extreme weather caused the accident.
Rashid Mogradia, CEO of the Council of British Hajjis, a national charity providing support to British pilgrims said:
A number of families contacted us for support in locating their loved ones after the tragic incident which unfolded on Friday in Mecca. Sadly we have now received confirmed reports of two British nationals who have been killed as a result of the crane crash. Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased and with all those who have been affected by this tragic accident. The Council commends the efforts by the Saudi Authorities and the British Consulate in Saudi Arabia who have been working hard to support those affected.
Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return.
The UK Foreign Office said it was urgently investigating whether any British citizens were caught up in the accident. “We are aware of the incident and are in close contact with the Saudi authorities,” a spokeswoman said.
Around 10,000 British pilgrims are currently in Makkah with another 10,000 set to arrive by the end of next week making up around 2.5 million worldwide pilgrims set to perform Hajj this year.
The Saudi Authorities take the health and safety of pilgrims seriously and have opened an investigation into the cause of the accident. Arrangements have been made to ensure the Hajj pilgrimage goes ahead.
Anyone wishing to seek further help or advice can call us on +44(0) 845 833 4145 or the Foreign Office Helpline on 020 7008 1500 or 00 966 501 00 4268 within Saudi Arabia.
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Note for Editors
- The Council of British Hajjis (CBHUK) is a leading national charity working for the welfare of British pilgrims who travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) known as Hajj and the lesser pilgrimage of Umrah.
- CBHUK is a registered charity (No. 1146323)
- CBHUK is a national lead working with the City of London Police to tackel Hajj Fraud http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/news-and-appeals/campaigns-and-initiatives/hajj/Pages/default.aspx
- CBHUK run national training, travel & health advice and vaccination clinics for aspiring pilgrims
Telephone: 0845 833 4145
Outside of UK: +448458334145
Out of Hours: 07466 888842 (please leave a message or SMS text with your full name, company and email address)