The Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board has described as untrue reports that 11 pilgrims from the state were among the 769 pilgrims killed in Thursday’s stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
The Public Relations Officer of the board, Alhaji Nuhu Badamasi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the officials of the board were making concerted efforts to find out if any of “our pilgrims from Kano“ were affected.
“As I am talking to you now, the board is yet to ascertain or confirm the number of those who died or were injured during the incident.
‘’But officials of the board here in the Holy land are still making effort to find out if any of our pilgrims from Kano were affected,’ he said.
He, however, advised members of the public to disregard any piece of information not confirmed officially.
“People at home are worried since the incident happened and they just spread any piece of information on the incident reaching them,“ he said.
NAN recalls that at least 717 pilgrims were reportedly killed and 863 others injured on Thursday when a stampede broke out in the tent city of Mina as pilgrims were on their way to perform a Hajj ritual.
However, since Thursday the number of pilgrims who died in the stampede has risen to 769 with the number of injured jumping to 934.
The stampede began during a morning surge of pilgrims at an intersection between Streets 204 and 223, as the faithful were making their way toward a large structure overlooking the columns, according to the civil defense directorate.
The tragedy was the deadliest to strike the annual Hajj pilgrimage since 1990, where 1,426 Muslim pilgrims were trampled to death.
The multi-story structure, known as Jamarat Bridge, is designed to ease the pressure of the crowds and prevent pilgrims from being trampled.