First batch of Iranian pilgrims return from Hajj

September 29, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN - The first plane carrying Iranian pilgrims back home from Saudi Arabia landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Monday afternoon.

Some 64,000 Iranian pilgrims will return home in the coming days by 218 flights to different cities throughout the country.
This year’s Hajj saw a number of deadly incidents that drew criticism from different Muslim countries of the Saudis’ mismanagement. In the most recent and deadliest-ever event more than 1000 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca. The tragedy happened when pilgrims were performing annual Hajj rituals.

According to the latest announcement by the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, the death toll of the Iranian pilgrims stands at 226. Also 248 Iranian pilgrims are missing.

The incident came less than two weeks after tens of Hajj pilgrims were killed in another tragedy.

On September 11, a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather, killing at least 107 people, including 11 Iranians, and injuring 201 others.

Later on September 21, a fire at a hotel in Mecca forced some 1,500 people to leave the place. The incident came after about 1,000 Asian pilgrims were evacuated from another hotel in Mecca following a fire at the eighth floor of the place on September 18. Two Indonesian pilgrims were wounded.

In yet another mishap to hit the Hajj pilgrimage, the door of a special metro train rolled out to carry pilgrims from Mecca to Arafat malfunctioned on September 23, trapping over 200 pilgrims who suffocated and fainted.

Also on September 25, a tent belonging to Egyptian pilgrims caught fire during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mina.

Saudi authorities have come under fire for their inability to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who converge on Mecca every year.