Saturday, August 20

10 Malaysian pilgrims injured, six unaccounted for in Mecca crane collapse


PETALING JAYA: Ten Malaysian pilgrims were injured and six have not been accounted for after a crane collapsed Friday onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 107 worshippers and injuring hundreds of others.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said today the injured seven men and three women were in stable condition, and that their injuries included fractured bones.

“Three of them are under treatment at Saudi Arabian hospitals and six, at the Tabung Haji Medical Centre, while one person has been allowed to return to the hotel,” he told a news conference at the TH Complex in Kelana Jaya here.

Jamil Khir said TH was working with the Southeast Asian Muasassah (pilgrims management body) to look for the six missing pilgrims – two men and four women.

“They have been identified. Based on our assumption and experience, they may be in the mosque or would be performing certain rituals or would be returning to the hotels later,” he said.

Initial reports said six Malaysian pilgrims were injured in the incident which occurred at about 5 pm (10 pm in Malaysia).

Altogether 107 people were killed and 238 injured, according to latest reports.

The injured Malaysians are Zainul Arifin Zulkifli, 36, of Batu Caves, Selangor; Ahmad Muzafar Mamat alias Adam, 39, of Bangi, Selangor; Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, 44, of Cheras, Selangor; Noordin Wahab, 59, of Kuala Terengganu; Abdul Razak
Mahmood, 61, of Tanah Merah, Kelantan.

Mat Deris Mohd Noor, 62, of Bachok, Kelantan; Mohd Sharif Meon, 64, of Klang, Selangor; Faridah Mat Yacob, 46, of Bachok, Kelantan; Rusiah Baba, 50, of Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and Faridah Mansor, 63, of Dungun, Terengganu.

Jamil Khir said TH had contacted the next-of-kin of all the injured and missing pilgrims.

“The Malaysian government, through TH, will provide all the necessary assistance to these pilgrims,” he said.

He said 15 medical specialists and TH staff in the holy land would attend to these pilgrims until they were able to perform the haj.

Jamil Khir said the TH search-and-rescue team of 30 members comprising medical, welfare and patrol personnel provided aid and treatment yesterday to the Malaysian pilgrims who were at the scene of the incident.

“The team continues to monitor the situation and is trying to identify the actual number of TH pilgrims involved.

“The TH medical team also went to all the Saudi Arabian hospitals to find out whether (injured) Malaysian pilgrims had been sent there,” he said.

The tragedy occurred ahead of the annual Haj pilgrimage which is due later this month. Millions of Muslims from around the world will converge on the holy city between Sept 21 and 26.

The crane, believed to be one of several being used in the expansion project of the Grand Mosque, collapsed during heavy rain and when Muslims were performing the Asar prayers.

Jamil Khir advised Malaysians not to circulate unverified information on the tragedy.

He said TH would issue details from time to time on its website and portal.

The official information from Mecca was obtained from the head of the Malaysian Haj Delegation, Datuk Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman, Jamil Khir told the news conference, which was attended also by TH chairman Datuk Seri Abdul
Azeez Abdul Rahim. -Bernama