UPDATE: 7:20 a.m. EDT -- At least 453 people have been killed and 719 others injured in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia's civil defense directorate said, according to Agence France-Presse.
"Work is underway to separate large groups of people and direct pilgrims to alternative routes," the Saudi civil defense said on its Twitter account, according to Reuters.
UPDATE: 5:48 a.m. EDT -- The death toll from a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca on the third day of the annual hajj pilgrimage has climbed to 310, Saudi Arabia's authorities said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
At least 220 people have been killed and 450 others injured Thursday in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia's civil defense directorate reportedly said. The incident took place on the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, which marks the end of hajj.
The stampede happened in Mecca’s neighborhood of Mina, which provides temporary accommodation for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who travel to Mecca for the celebration. The defense directorate reportedly said it has deployed two medical teams in the field for emergency treatment of the victims.
Some 2 million people are reportedly taking part in this year's hajj pilgrimage, which began Tuesday.
Muslim pilgrims perform the ritual of the "Stoning of the Devil" by casting stones at pillars symbolizing Satan during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mina.
The incident comes less than two weeks after a giant construction crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing at least 110 people and injuring more than 390. The accident occurred where extensive development work was being conducted to expand areas in the main pilgrimage sites, where similar incidents have previously crushed hundreds to death.