Severe heatwave in Mecca kills 6 Ghanaians during Hajj

Story: News Desk

Six Ghanaian nationals have tragically died in Mecca due to a severe heat wave sweeping through Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll among Ghanaian pilgrims to eight.

Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomba, Spokesperson for the Hajj Board, confirmed the fatalities during an interview with the media. 

The pilgrims, staying in Madina as part of their religious journey, faced extreme temperatures exceeding 41 degrees Celsius.

In response to the intense heat, Saudi authorities mandated that all pilgrims stay within their tents during peak heat hours, between noon and 4 p.m. local time.

Initially, reports of fatalities emerged involving Georgian pilgrims. However, it was later revealed that Ghanaians were also among the heat wave victims.

According to Sky News, over 1,000 people have now died during the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

“The temperature was so high—above 41 degrees Celsius,” Gomba stated. 

“They asked the authorities to confine us to our camps between noon and 4 p.m. Saudi time. Later, we heard that some Georgians lost their lives in town.

“At the time, we didn’t even know that some Ghanaians were also going to lose their lives under the conditions said to be related to the heat waves that swept across Saudi Arabia on the day.”

Gomba mentioned that initial reports suggested 13 Ghanaian nationals had died, although this number was later clarified to six after fingerprint verification at the morgue. 

These fatalities involved individuals suspected of travelling with non-Hajj visas, complicating identification efforts.

“The forensic centre at the morgue, where the corpses are kept before being buried, had only managed to get six nationals from Ghana. 

“When I asked him how they were doing it, they told me they were using fingerprints, and it was a laborious task,” Gomba explained.

He concluded, “So, it will take days before the number of Ghanaians who died as a result of the heat wave will be established. 

“Currently, we can say six people died during the heat wave, even though an autopsy report is not yet out regarding the subject.”

Related Post

No more posts to show

Post Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *