Over 100 people had died when a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca's Grand Mosque on Friday, days before the annual haj pilgrimage. Two Indians had been among them.
Besides, 11 Indians were among the scores who were injured. This evening, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted:
After opening of mortuary today eveng, officials working w/ relatives have confirmed that 9 more Indians have unfortunately died in #Makkah- Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 13, 2015
The fresh casualties are expected to include people from the Haj Committee of India. The ministry, Mr Swarup said, was extending all help to the families.
The two Indians who died earlier have been identified as a couple -- Addul Khader and his wife Fatima -- who were from Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.
Their family told NDTV that the state government is yet to officially inform them. and they had got the news from others.
A part of the massive crane had collapsed as a result of strong winds and heavy rains, media reports said.
The Haj pilgrimage -- one of the largest religious gatherings in the world -- had been hit by accidents in the past, but these mostly involved stampedes as pilgrims rushed to complete rituals. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a stampede in 2006.
Officials from the Indian Consulate in Jeddah have been on the ground and have set up a 24X7 helpline to provide information and assistance.
The 24x7 Mission helpline numbers are 00966125458000 and 00966125496000. The toll free number for pilgrims in Kingdom is 8002477786.
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