Jeddah: Three Pakistani Haj pilgrims were tragically killed and eleven injured in a traffic accident on Tuesday near Afif on the Riyadh-Makkah highway.
“We came to know of the accident late on Tuesday and found that the deceased were Pakistani expatriates whose bodies were charred beyond recognition,” Shaji, a social worker in Afif, told Arab News on Wednesday.
He added that more than 10 people, mostly Pakistani nationals were among the injured and had been checked into a hospital for treatment with a few of them fighting for their life. The accident occurred when the car in which the pilgrims were traveling collided with an incoming vehicle.
In another accident, eight Asian nationals were injured on the Madinah-Qassim highway on Tuesday night, according to the Saudi Red Crescent Society.
“A minibus carrying Haj pilgrims rammed into a car on Tuesday night resulting in nine people suffering injuries of varying degrees from moderate to critical. The injured also included the African driver of the other car,” said Khalid Al-Harbi, spokesperson of the Saudi Red Crescent Society in Madinah in a statement.
He added that in addition to the regular fleet of ambulances, a helicopter was also dispatched to move the injured pilgrims to a hospital from the accident site.
The victims were transferred to the general hospital in Hanakia and the maternity hospital in Madinah.
Ministry of Health sources said that health facilities along the highways departing from Makkah are fully equipped to deal with emergency cases especially in Taif and Madinah regions.
Domestic pilgrims, particularly those traveling by road, in a hurry to get home as soon as possible after the Haj or Umrah pilgrimages are often subject to road accidents resulting in serious injuries and sometimes, death owing to over-speeding vehicles on the Kingdom’s roads.
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