Saudi prince’s convoy triggered Hajj stampede: report

Published: September 26, 2015
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Saudi ambulances arrive with pilgrims who were injured in a stampede at an emergency hospital in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on the first day of Eidul Azha on September 24, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Saudi ambulances arrive with pilgrims who were injured in a stampede at an emergency hospital in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on the first day of Eidul Azha on September 24, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

A convoy of the son of the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz prompted the stampede that killed hundreds of pilgrims in Mina on Thursday, Iran’s Press TV reported.

Citing a report published in a Lebanese daily, Press TV claims the convoy of Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud played a central role in the deadly crush on the third day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Read: At least 717 pilgrims killed, 863 injured in Hajj stampede at Mina

Report claims Prince Salman was accompanied by a huge entourage, including 200 army and 150 police officers, which prompted officials to change the movement of pilgrims.

It further said the prince and his entourage swiftly abandoned the scene, adding that the Saudi authorities seek to cover up the entire story and impose a media blackout on Salman’s presence in the area.

However, officials in Saudi Arabia have denied the report, calling it “incorrect.”

Read: Saudi Arabia suggests pilgrims at fault over Hajj deaths, Iran indignant

Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Falih said an investigation would be conducted rapidly and a final toll of dead and wounded calculated. At least 863 pilgrims were injured.

“The investigations into the incident of the stampede that took place today in Mina, which was perhaps because some pilgrims moved without following instructions by the relevant authorities, will be fast and will be announced as has happened in other incidents,” Falih said in a statement.

Read: Iran accuses Saudi of Hajj safety errors after stampede

Earlier on Thursday, accusing Saudi Arabia of safety errors, the head of Iran’s Hajj organisation, Said Ohadi, said that for “unknown reasons” two paths had been closed off near the scene of the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual where the accident later took place.

“This caused this tragic incident,” he said on Iranian state television. Ohadi said the path closures had left only three routes to the area where the stoning ceremony was held.

“The incident shows mismanagement and lack of serious attention to the safety of pilgrims. There is no other explanation. The Saudi officials should be held accountable.”

The article originally appeared on PressTV

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Reader Comments (65)

  • Ummah
    Sep 26, 2015 - 5:37PM

    When will Iran stop scoring points by generating reports just on speculations? We already are facing enough problems due to these 2 countries waging proxy wars on each otherRecommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Sep 26, 2015 - 6:31PM

    A visit by a lowly Prince cost around 800 lives. Saudi justice should apply to him.Recommend

  • Sara
    Sep 26, 2015 - 7:29PM

    As the article is published in Iranian Press TV, it may be biased. Let’s wait for Saudi Arab’s Report, and if in case of proven guilty, they should compensate to the bereaved families.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 26, 2015 - 7:35PM

    This is a lie which was invented in Iran.Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 26, 2015 - 7:35PM

    Wirhout any bias I will strongly condemn the VIP treatment during HAJJ rituals.
    When all Hajis wrap them in two white chaddars all become equal.

    There must not be any VIP treatment especially during five days of Hajj. Every one Whether King or common man must be given same treatment.

    True sense of equality that is main motto of Hajj is badly shaken. No bridge to be closed for VIP.

    If you close First Floor for VIPs and try to divert all gathering to Third floor the stampede is very likely.

    Saudi Authorities should not hide facts and real invedtigations must be made public.

    Prince is in very young age may not be well aware of the situation.He is in fact very fond of fighting. The yemen war is bing fought due to his personal intentions.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Sep 26, 2015 - 7:50PM

    The film showing convoy of the son of the Saudi King accompanied by a strong entourage in air conditioned vehicles was shown on the Iranian Television which prompted the stampede that resulted in killing of a number of Hajis. The question is why so many vehicles were allowed to enter when the entire lot of Hajis were going on foot as required for pilgrimage. Recommend

  • Audit
    Sep 26, 2015 - 8:24PM

    saudi princes earn from poor pilgrims to live luxurious life.muslims shall perform only one hajj in life ( as is mandatory). The rest money shall be used for education and poverty alleviation.Recommend

  • just_someone
    Sep 26, 2015 - 8:41PM

    When you thought the monarchs in Saudi Arabia couldn’t get worse, they do.
    India, you’re happy to be bffs with the Arab nations, they are very much like modi, a match made in heaven!Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Sep 26, 2015 - 9:49PM

    Saudis don’t have the guts to own up that their Prince caused the deaths of thousands. God will ultimately punish those who brought this about even if they deny it. Unlike Saudi statements that it was the Will of God. God does not go around killing people but saves people. Recommend

  • genesis
    Sep 26, 2015 - 10:12PM

    This is true of officials anywhere in the world.They are adept at covering up and shifting the blame elsewhere.It is the only the poor and the naive who are suckered.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Sep 26, 2015 - 11:09PM

    Saudi govt should Accept his Failure arrangement of minnah incident. Video released some convoy of vehicles gave come indide the area of ram my. For this royal convoy the routs of pilgrim ve been closed for such a time on incident day.Recommend

  • Zafar
    Sep 26, 2015 - 11:42PM

    Its despicable to see the Iranian government using this tragedy for political purposes and fulfilling their sectarian agenda through this.
    Accidents happen and that’s it. We should avoid to play politics. The Saudi gov should be supported for dealing with this tragedy. Many times management isn’t to be blamed, but over zealous hujjaj who disregard the safety instruction may be blameworthy.

    May Allah bless all those who died in this accident. Amen.Recommend

  • Asad
    Sep 27, 2015 - 12:18AM

    Press tv is run by iranian revolutionary guards. Usually used as propaganda channel. Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2015 - 1:56AM

    I have been to the gulf and seen few of these big protocols. The number of armed people mentioned up there is pretty much the right figure they carry near to 300 people when they are in public specially the Qatar and Saudi royals and their families, In a place where there are so many pilgrims this story can be true.Recommend

  • GS@Y
    Sep 27, 2015 - 3:45AM

    This has the ring of truth to it.Recommend

  • Michael
    Sep 27, 2015 - 4:27AM

    The people responsible are the ones who did the stampeding, it just shows how uncivilized the middle east is and how rude they are living in New Orleans we have had much larger crowds and never would this happen, no respect for each other how can Iran blame this on the Saudis blame the people that did the trampling blame your society blame your culture blame your religion. Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2015 - 8:12AM

    Oh yes! The Saudis, like us, are known for their ‘damn care’ attitude. It’s plausible that the roads were blocked making it difficult for the pilgrims to move ahead in the stone ritual. Add to the blockage, the heat of the day, & it will give a stifling atmosphere making it difficult to breathe. The result: panic & mayhem. Of course, the prince can never be wrong with 200 army guards & 150 police. SalamsRecommend

  • Melissa bing
    Sep 27, 2015 - 8:22AM

    How can we help?

    Holla to Saudi Arabia and Iran!!! :)
    I LOVE YOU!!Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Sep 27, 2015 - 10:12AM

    And, how many people have trust and confidence in Saudi authorities to hold a fair and impartial inquiry concerning acts of members of the ruling family??? In some ways the Muslim Ummah deserves this by abdicating their responsibilities towards administering the holy sites and leaving it to the Saudis alone. To understand what I mean, one would have to read Robert Lacy’s book “The Kingdom” in which he has cited King Abdul Aziz’s letter to the Ulemas in the Muslim countries to assist in holy sites’ administration, and did not get a single response. That was c.1924. Many of these countries were shackled in colonial bondage then, and in the post-colonial period how they have managed themselves is in front of all of us. I have as much faith in the outcome of this inquiry as I do in the falling of the crane incident: almost none.Recommend

  • Haji
    Sep 27, 2015 - 10:50AM

    wah jee wah – aap ke ada tehri aur woh jan say gay
    look at them they eat from tourism of Muslims ; Haj and umra Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2015 - 10:53AM

    The Wahabi/Khawariji King Salman need to pay death
    benefits to all the victims families. Either killed or injured.Recommend

  • A Learned Reader
    Sep 27, 2015 - 11:03AM

    Al Arabiya website says it was an Iranian convoy that broke barricades and went ahead causing stampede.Recommend

  • WB
    Sep 27, 2015 - 11:11AM

    Iranian govt blames Saudi govt; wow what a surpriseRecommend

  • Raheel
    Sep 27, 2015 - 1:49PM

    Iran has got no better work to do. Even if a fly dies they will blame it on Saudia. They have lost all credibility.Recommend

  • Muhammad Raza
    Sep 27, 2015 - 1:51PM

    Is that the truth and how can Iran investigate? It is not good to be over smart. You usually get slapped with more sanctions with this behavior.Recommend

  • Arif
    Sep 27, 2015 - 1:53PM

    I heard that an Irani group was going in the wrong direction chanting weird slogans and beating their chests. This act should not be tolerated and strict action should be taken.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Sep 27, 2015 - 1:59PM

    @Motiwala:
    No need to get excited. Already they payed much more than the blood money. 200,000 riyal is the blood money, however the Saudi king paid 1,000,000 riyals. Recommend

  • Abid Naqvi
    Sep 27, 2015 - 2:02PM

    Why Iran likes to cook up things?? Every muslim country is patient and waiting for the report but Iran is over excited and wants to take revenge. Iran must be biting their nails to get something negative.Recommend

  • Haji
    Sep 27, 2015 - 2:08PM

    where are the cameras…surveillance videos.. organized management..security dutiful responsible..billionaires not able to control the situation while spending so much for construction and stuff and not security management..?Recommend

  • sami
    Sep 27, 2015 - 4:41PM

    How are people commenting on report by Iran TV?

    How do they know this is true?

    Muslims must be united and stand together. Ask anyone who has done Haj, they will tell you that Saudi does an amazing job considering 2 to 3 million people at at the same place on temporary basis.Recommend

  • Ruhul Insaf
    Sep 27, 2015 - 4:50PM

    How many more people should die at the mercy of the merciless Saudi regime? In 2001, when doing hajj, I personally witnessed how the former Crown Prince Abdullah’s visit disrupted the movement of the huge crowds in Mina. So even though Saudis are saying the report is false, I cannot rule out that this might have occurred.

    While the Saudi government has apparently launched in investigation, how can you trust them? It’s like asking a thief or a thug to investigate his own crime! In ethic discourse, this is called conflict of interest. In order to get closer to the truth, you need to ensure at the least procedural justice.

    To determine what really happened, we need a transparent international investigation. It’s morally wrong to trust the Saudis in this case.Recommend

  • Momin
    Sep 27, 2015 - 5:04PM

    @Ruhul Insaf:
    I saw a video of the current King doing tawaaf of the Qaba without any security and common people are shaking hands with him. I know many Iran supporters wont trust me so I have shared the link below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwbhfo4oZk8Recommend

  • Khan
    Sep 27, 2015 - 5:39PM

    @Sara: are you kidding they are the press and judges its not US or Europe where the Presidents can be tried in a court Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 27, 2015 - 5:53PM

    King Salman should immediately remove his son from current position and punish him to death for killing of hundred of thousand of Guests of Allah.

    I ll cautiously comment on Mufti Sahab statement regarding the incident that it a human cannot avoid such happening and it is will of God.

    If it were will of God why Saudis constructed such huge structure at Jamarat for facilitation of hajis.

    Such incident did not for last decade but closure of all paths to Jamarat for King Son lead to tragic incident.

    He the king son will be surely punished by Allah in herefter.Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 27, 2015 - 5:57PM

    During Hajj 2009 policemen close bridge at first floor for Royal UAE family membes.Almost similar situation was created like 2015.

    No VIP treatment during Five days of Hajj.Recommend

  • kathy
    Sep 27, 2015 - 6:54PM

    @Momin:
    Cannot you see how clear the area in front of him is in this video clip. If this is during Hajj, look at the number of people who perform tawaaf and there is never such clear path in front of anyone. During Hajj (I am a witness) security clears the path for then and makes a circle so that they can complete tawaaf quickly and there is a a human barricade around them – always.Recommend

  • habib
    Sep 27, 2015 - 9:19PM

    Saudi king is responsible Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2015 - 9:24PM

    Why saudi prince came in public gathering with about 400 police & army personals for hajj? he is only & only responsible for innocent pilgrims killing, and has to heng on same place.Recommend

  • Muhammad Khan
    Sep 27, 2015 - 10:30PM

    Saudi Government arrangements during Hajj are very good. We should not politicised this accident. Saudi Govt is investigating. We hope that remedial action would be taken to avoid such accidents in future.Recommend

  • xulfjan
    Sep 27, 2015 - 11:00PM

    @Sara:
    as if Saudis will give the most accurate picture of the incidence. Bottom line is that hundreds of pilgrims died on their watch and they are responsible for their safety…period!Recommend

  • Muhammad Fayyaz
    Sep 27, 2015 - 11:25PM

    On 2nd day of stone throwing to devil I also saw at time of maghrib pray that sone vip vehicle land cruiser type and about 15 buses of Qatar Hujaj were headed to jamarat on pedestrian road (the way which not for vehicles) it means that these all vehicles are belong to vip. I think that this is unfair as thousands of peples are walking couple of kilometres to perform their throwing stone & VIP move on their vehicle between them. Recommend

  • Usman
    Sep 28, 2015 - 12:13AM

    Iran and Saudia are source of Shia Sunni conflict in Middle East and in Pakistan as well. Their rulers are shameless lot, who can go on any level to harm and embarass each other. In this human tragedy as well, Iran is playing politics, just to harm and embarass Saudis. I am sure Saudis would have done the same, had it been other way around.Recommend

  • observer
    Sep 28, 2015 - 12:47AM

    @Zaida Parvez:

    “A visit by a lowly Prince cost around 800 lives.”

    I am sure the rich Saudis are thinking “A visit by our respected prince did not cost around 800 inconsequential, nondescript and poor lives”.Recommend

  • ali
    Sep 28, 2015 - 1:38AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    thjs not lie,because100’s of beloved of sum one dead due to negletion,if u say this is lie then u r the lier Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Sep 28, 2015 - 2:38AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:In Haj rich and poor, old and young all covers them with white cloth. No exception in Haj rituals. Why the Prince went in luxury automobiles. Does the Saudis want to radically change the Haj rituals. The pictures bespeak amply how the fallen Hajis supposed to be dead were dumped in in humane manner in trucks. Every one knows that the route was blocked and those who had reached the barrier were asked by military personnel to go back and those coming did not know what was happening and so thousands were sandwiched. Saudi money is playing its role and truth is covered with lies after lies.Please read comments of ZAK . Recommend

  • ABC
    Sep 28, 2015 - 8:59AM

    @Khan:

    In which US or UK presidents could be tried? When would Bush and Blair be tried for imposing war on Iraq without having any weapons? You guys sitting in Pakistan think that money grows on trees in US and UK, first come here and then see the realityRecommend

  • M Saleem chaudhry
    Sep 28, 2015 - 9:24AM

    A Lebanese can publish the background and cause of stampede and so can do print media of Europe but not a word from our great Muslim nation,the only nuclear power of Muslim world. What a shame?Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2015 - 12:01PM

    what is happening now in meddle east and other muslim world, the Arab stats are resposible on multi directional point of view………Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Sep 28, 2015 - 12:06PM

    Bised reporting from ET. Sickening reporting from Iran.Recommend

  • Shayhak
    Sep 28, 2015 - 12:10PM

    Shame on Saudi and shame on “that” who says it was the “matter of fate” that people died.Recommend

  • Momin
    Sep 28, 2015 - 1:33PM

    @kathy:
    I am giving you white and black proof video and yet you are debating about a baricade. Cant you see the people on his side?? The truth will never go down your throat. i know you people very well.Recommend

  • Mukhtar
    Sep 28, 2015 - 1:37PM

    @Shayhak:
    Shame on those who think Iran knows everything. Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Sep 28, 2015 - 2:28PM

    Now the tragic incident took place for one reason or another, it is high time, that we take lesson from ongoing situation in the middle East, Saudis should stop unilateral strikes in Yemen (which has already taken lives of hundreds of thousands innocent people), instead of Shia fear, these Mullah’s should fear God and cooperate with countries in the region instead of making part of Zionist block.Recommend

  • nika
    Sep 28, 2015 - 3:15PM

    the ppl who try purge saudi regime are so funny and out of their mind. im not muslim btw but what i know, iranians need kind of visa for going to hajj, also it has limitation in number, mean some ppl are waiting since 2008 and yet they couldnt go coz yeraly they have limited number capacity. based on international law, when u enter any countries soil ( if uve got insurance paper and paid for it, wich iraninans do for hajj) , the host country is resposible about ur security, as simple as if u are a french and ur wallet been stolen in italy ,the italy police and gov should answer and take responsibility not france!!! so such kind of ideas like saudies arent responsible is so silly. yearly saudi asks milions $ from pilgrims and claims they spend it for more security and facilities, what we can see only few new american and jews hotel branches built around mecca ! what else??!!! should muslims pay saudi gov to support its proxy war , these days all muslims should be aware whatever they pay to hajj ,they are paying to alsaud, mean they are paying the bombs and rockets budjet pouring on empty hand kids , also supporting isi equipments…but yet the most poor ppl save their money during their life for hajj to put it in golden plate and give to saudi for buying more missiles..how beautifully said alexander years ago : all chronic and hard illness would be cure one day but IGNORANCE!Recommend

  • M Shoaib
    Sep 28, 2015 - 8:30PM

    The new King Salman is inexperienced and had made changes in entire administration of the previous King. Previosu administration was expereinced and prevented any accident during Hajj for almost 10 years. Saudis will have to take responsibility as they are the rulers there and in future restrict all VIP movements. So many precious lives lost many children orphaned. Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmed
    Sep 29, 2015 - 12:20AM

    Can’t trust this report as it is given by Press TV which is Iran’s state owned channel. It’s a pity that Iran is playing politics at such a great tragedy. Anyhow, investigations should be done and those found responsible must be punished.Recommend

  • salim faridi
    Sep 29, 2015 - 7:04PM

    comming from Iran and without any proof provided, iranian speculations cannot be relied upon as truth. If Iran has something it can present as a proof then it must do so without any delay. Otherwise it will be accused of turning a purely religious matter into a poltical affair which is really a bad thing.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Oct 1, 2015 - 1:36AM

    @Arif:You have heard and is not a witness nor your saw the film and pictures taken by Hajis. Please apprise your self with the situation and what happened on the ground. One of Pakistani said that some one showed a black flag and shouted about bomb. He also heard which common in Pakistan.. Recommend

  • Zahra Omrani
    Oct 3, 2015 - 3:08AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Ok. It’s a lie. All our pilgrims are lying and 464 individuals from Iran are not dead. Saudi Arabia ddidn’t order to collect and burn the videos taken by the security cameras. Ok. Fine. And… Oh. Did you know there were WAY MORE DEATHS than 1000?Recommend

  • Zahra Omrani
    Oct 3, 2015 - 3:13AM

    @Michael:
    Crowds are a completely different thing. I promise. You have no idea how crowded Mecca is during this special ritual. The pressure is not something you can solve by respect. It’s like a solid see made of people. If just one individual stops, it’ll make a mess. Let alone closing the routes…Recommend

  • raghu
    Oct 3, 2015 - 11:13AM

    @Zahra Omrani:
    Your name shows why u support iran. Stop being biased Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Oct 4, 2015 - 9:30PM

    @Momin:I do not know which video Mr Momin saw. I saw pictures in many world news papers that the King is doing Tawaf while area around Khana Kaba is cordoned by military personnel and Hajis kept at least 10 meters away. Recommend

  • Momin
    Oct 5, 2015 - 12:43PM

    @syed & syed:
    Dear Syed&Syed, I have shared the video in my previous comments, you can have a look aswell. You can also have a look. Ordinary people and kids coming forward and shaking hands with the King. We can built up many stories that all of this is fake or this is a setup or he is a look alike of King. But my friend. it is hard to accept the truth. Recommend

  • Hamza
    Oct 21, 2015 - 1:31PM

    This article couldn’t have a more clearer bias. A reputable newsppaer ought to know better. Quoting an Iranian source which based the entire event on a footage that was from 2012! The basis for this allegation is a footage that’s three years old. Credibility?Recommend

  • Amaru
    Oct 22, 2015 - 12:54AM

    No country should not be in charge of The Most Holly Place. Mecca need to be declared a free zone, where the arrogant politics, of regardless who, will not mix with the Faith.Recommend

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