Mumbai: Haj stampede survivors ‘in shock’, families distressed

  • Misbaah Mansuri and Musab Qazi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 26, 2015 23:18 IST
File photo: Muslim pilgrims circumvent around the Kaaba at the Masjid al-Haram Mosque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (EPA)

“I can still picture the disturbing cacophony, blood and the cries,” said Agripada resident Aamira Merchant, who survived the stampede in Mecca on Thursday that claimed more than 700 and left around 900 others injured.

Witnesses and survivors said the incident has left them traumatised. “It was a disturbing sight — bodies piled on top of each other. We’re still in shock,” said Sibtain Shaikh, a 36-year-old from Bandra.

“This has been one of the worst incidents during the pilgrimage in the past 75 years,” said Wadala’s Sattar Mohammed, who has gone to Haj several times.

Yasmeen Batatawala, whose brother suffered leg injuries in the stampede, said, “My mother fainted after hearing about the stampede. My brother is injured and we are distressed,” said the Mumbai Central resident.

Officials from Haj Committee of India said playing the blame game won’t help.

“Two deputation teams have been sent to Saudi Arabia. The committee chairman and chief executive officer have also accompanied them,” said Zahir Husain, deputy CEO.

Though security has been tightened, pilgrims there said they were still scared.

“It will be difficult for me to get live a normal life after this experience,” said Sultan Raza, a Grant Road resident, several of whose friends are injured.

“The measures should have been in place much earlier,” said JJ Marg resident Rubeena Mansuri, a pilgrim in Mecca.

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