GRIEF BY THE HANDS OF MAN AND GOD
It was a tragic year in Mecca with two terrible incidents claiming the lives of hundreds of pilgrims. On September 11, a few days before the annual Hajj rush, a crawler crane toppled over onto the Grand Mosque killing 111 people and injuring 400 others. Barely a few days later, with the pilgrimage in full swing, a stampede on September 24 caused several hundred deaths (with various sources giving conflicting reports on the death toll). The worshippers were suffocated or crushed on the road towards the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Mina, making it the worst Hajj stampede in history. The cause of the stampede remains unclear and the Saudi government has reportedly launched an investigation into the incident while not being completely transparent about the death toll, which it has maintained is about 769 killed and 934 injured.