9 Indian Pilgrims Were On-board Bus That Crashed Near Mecca Killing 35 Foreigners, 2 Among Injured


New Delhi: Nine Indian pilgrims were on board the bus that was involved in a major accident near the Muslim holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. While two of the nine were injured in the accident and are receiving treatment, the Indian Consulate General said it is still trying to get more details about the other seven.

The accident had led to the death of 35 pilgrims when the bus collided with another heavy vehicle. Four people were injured in the crash.

“We have been relentlessly making efforts to get the details of other pilgrims. We have been informed by local authorities that the following Indian passport holders on the bus,” the Consulate General tweeted and listed the names of the seven without revealing further details.

They have been identified as Asraf Alam from Bihar, Feroz Ali, Aftab Ali, Naushad Ali, Zeeshan Khan and Belal from Uttar Pradesh and Moktar Ali Gazi from West Bengal.

The two injured Indians have been identified as Matin Gulam Walele and Zeba Nizam Bagban, a couple from Pune, Maharashtra. They are currently undergoing treatment at Saudi’s King Fahd hospital.

The accident on Wednesday involved a collision between "a private chartered bus... with a heavy vehicle (loader)" near the western Saudi Arabian city, a spokesman for Medina police said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The images of the accident showed the bus engulfed in flames with its windows blown out. The bus was carrying mostly Arab and Asian pilgrims.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Wednesday offered condolences to families of those who lost their lives in the accident. "Anguished by the news of a bus crash near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Praying for a quick recovery of the injured," PM Modi had said in a tweet.

The Ministry of External Affairs had directed its mission in Jeddah to ascertain details of Indians involved in the bus crash.