September’s stampede during hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, killed at least 2,411 pilgrims, a tally by the Associated Press showed Friday. That figure is more than three times the number of deaths reported by the Saudi government.
The AP based its estimate on state media reports and comments from officials in 36 countries that sent Muslims to hajj. The Saudi government put the death toll at 769 two days after the stampede, and it has not updated its figure since. The AP reported hundreds of pilgrims are still missing.
Iran was the country that lost the most pilgrims in the stampede, listing 464 casualties. Mali lost 305 people, Nigeria lost 274, and Egypt lost 190. Other countries whose citizens lost lives in the disaster include Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Cameroon, Pakistan, Niger, Senegal, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast.
Shortly after the stampede, which occurred when two waves of pilgrims converged on a narrow road three miles east of Mecca, Saudi officials said they would open an investigation into the incident. The state-run Saudi Press Agency last updated citizens on the investigation Oct. 19 when it said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was “reassured on the progress of the investigations.”
This year’s hajj drew some 2 million pilgrims from around the globe. In previous years, the figure has been as high as 3 million.