Saudi Arabia: 1,028 pilgrims survive hotel fire

Saudi Arabia: 1,028 pilgrims survive hotel fire

Thursday, September 17, 2015 4:59 pm

File: Muslim pilgrims  in Mecca

File: Muslim pilgrims in Mecca

A Saudi Arabia official said 1,028 Muslim pilgrims were evacuated on Thursday, when a fire broke out in a hotel in the city of Mecca, a week ahead of the annual hajj and almost a week after a giant crane fell on the Grand Mosque, killing 111 pilgrims.

Abdullah al-Harthi, Spokesman for the Saudi Civil Defence agency, said in Riyadh that two pilgrims were injured in the fire.

He said the cause of the blaze, which started on the eighth storey of the 11-floor building, was not immediately known.

Pilgrims are due to start the haj rituals on Tuesday, and they last through Sept. 26.

Meanwhile, Saudi authorities said 1.2 million Muslims had arrived in the kingdom for the 2015 hajj.

Muslims are expected to perform the pilgrimage at least once during their lifetimes if they have the means to do so.

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