Hajj stam­pede: Sokoto loses 79 as Nige­ria’s death toll hits 199

Nige­ria’s death toll now 199

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ab­bas Ji­moh, Saudi Ara­bia & Abubakar Auwal, Sokoto

Sokoto State lost 79 pil­grims to top the list of ca­su­al­ties of the Septem­ber 24 stam­pede in Mina, Saudi Ara­bia, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures re­leased last night by the Na­tional Hajj Com­mis­sion of Nige­ria (NAHCON).

This is even as sources in Sokoto State put the death toll from the state at over 100, with Ilela lo­cal gov­ern­ment alone ac­count­ing for over 80 pil­grims that are still un­ac­counted for.

The Com­mis­sioner Plan­ning, Re­search Statis­tic In­for­ma­tion and Li­brary Ser­vice (PRSILS) of the com­mis­sion Dr. Saleh Okenwa told re­porters in Makkah that the death toll has risen to 199 with 36 in­jured and 121 still de­clared miss­ing. Kano State lost 20 pil­grims.

Sokoto also ac­count for the high­est num­ber of miss­ing at 59. Those miss­ing are feared dead but not yet iden­ti­fied among hun­dreds of bod­ies at hospi­tal morgues in the King­dom.

Okenwa also said that only five Nige­ri­ans re­mained on ad­mis­sion at the hos­pi­tals as other in­jured have been dis­charged with ma­jor­ity of them al­ready air­lifted back to Nige­ria.

Other states af­fected, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sioner, are Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Ji­gawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe, Zam­fara and FCT who lost pil­grims be­tween one and seven.

The source in Sokoto said many pil­grims from the state could not be ac­counted for as at yes­ter­day in spite of the roundthe-clock search by of­fi­cials.

“When we con­ducted a head­count of our pil­grims af­ter the ex­er­cise we dis­cov­ered many of them were still miss­ing. We searched vir­tu­ally all the hos­pi­tals in the Holy Land but all that we saw are mu­ti­lated bod­ies which can only be iden­ti­fied with the help of the DNA,” he said.

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