Home Headlines Heat Wave Claims Lives of Ghanaian Pilgrims in Mecca During Hajj

Heat Wave Claims Lives of Ghanaian Pilgrims in Mecca During Hajj

Hajj Pilgrims
Hajj Pilgrims

Six Ghanaian nationals have tragically perished in Mecca amidst a severe heat wave sweeping through Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

The fatalities, confirmed by Ghana’s Hajj Board, bring the total death toll for Ghanaians to eight, highlighting the perilous conditions faced by pilgrims.

Residing in Madinah as part of their religious journey, the pilgrims endured extreme temperatures exceeding 41 degrees Celsius. This prompted Saudi authorities to impose strict directives mandating pilgrims to remain within their tents during peak heat hours from noon to 4 p.m. local time. Initial concerns emerged following reports of deaths among Georgian pilgrims, which subsequently revealed Ghanaian casualties affected by the heat wave.

Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomda, spokesperson for the Hajj Board, discussed the challenges encountered due to the intense weather conditions during an interview on Citi FM.

“The temperature soared above 41 degrees Celsius,” Mr. Gomda recounted. “Initially, reports indicated up to 13 deaths, including individuals not registered with the Hajj Board suspected of using non-Hajj visas.”

Identifying the deceased has been a meticulous process, utilizing fingerprinting at the forensic center where the bodies are temporarily held. Mr. Gomda underscored ongoing efforts to confirm the exact number of Ghanaian fatalities, pending comprehensive autopsy reports.

“The forensic center has confirmed six Ghanaian nationals,” he clarified. “However, definitive figures will require further investigation over the coming days.”

The tragic incident is a stark reminder of the challenges faced during the Hajj pilgrimage, prompting calls for enhanced safety protocols to safeguard pilgrims from future hazards.

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