99 Nigerians died in Saudi tragedy – NAHCON
After a headcount of Nigerians as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has confirmed that 99 Nigerian pilgrims died, 42 injured and 214 others missing in the September 24 stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
A total of 355 Nigerians were involved in the incident.
Saleh Okenwa, NAHCON’s commissioner of information, research and library service, disclosed this to journalists in Mecca, on Thursday.
Okenwa, however, insisted that those missing could not be declared dead, since identification of those affected were still being collated by the Saudi Arabia health authorities in conjunction with Nigerian and other nations’ health officials.
He also gave the breakdown of the victims as 73 deaths from the state pilgrims welfare boards, agencies and commissions, while the remaining 26 were from the tour operators.
Read also: Ex-INEC boss, Jega’s brother killed in Saudi stampede
According to him, “Those injured were 42, 41 from the state pilgrims and one from tour operators. The number of those missing from the states was 96 males, 94 females and four males who were officials, totaling 194, while 10 males and 10 females were missing from the tour operators.
“Of those injured, only seven remain in the hospitals and receiving treatments and others have been discharged,” Okenwa said.
The Saudi authorities put the death toll at 769 but AP said its count showed that 1, 360 persons lost their lives in the incident which is the worst disaster to hit the annual pilgrimage in 25 years.
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