68 Indians among 1,081 Haj pilgrims die due to heatstroke in Makkah

The highest number of casualties came from Egypt, at least 600, an increase from the previous day’s 300.

Makkah: In a tragic turn of events, at least 68 Indians are reportedly among 1,081 pilgrims from around ten countries who have died during this year’s Haj pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, due to intense heat temperatures reaching 51.8 degrees Celsius.

The deaths were attributed to natural causes, old age, and intense weather conditions, the diplomat told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday, June 19.

The highest number of casualties came from Egypt, more than 650, with an estimated 630 of them unregistered pilgrims.

In addition to the Egyptians, this number includes 132 Indonesians, 60 Jordanians, 35 Tunisians, 35 Pakistanis, 13 from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, 11 Iranians, and 3 Senegalese.

The diplomat also confirmed that some Indian pilgrims were missing, but declined to provide an exact number.

The dire situation has led to people launching social media platforms such as Facebook to locate their loved ones.

In 2023, more than 200 pilgrims were reported dead, most of them from Indonesia.

More than 1.83 million people performed the Haj this year, including more than 1.6 million from 22 countries.

The Haj pilgrimage to Makkah is a mandatory religious duty that must be performed by those Muslims who are physically and financially able to perform it, at least once in a lifetime.