National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, yesterday said there was no compensation yet from the Saudi Arabian government as regards the double tragedies that occurred there during the September 2015 hajj operations.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that at least 87 people were reported dead after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.
It was reported that the crane fell on the east side of the mosque and injured over 180 people in the accident.
Similarly, about 717 people were killed and 863 injured in a stampede in Mina during the Islamic commemoration of Jamarat, which is the “stoning of the devil” with pebbles.
After the two incidents, Saudi Arabian government had promised to pay one million Saudi Riyad to the deceased families and 500,000 Saudi Riyad to families of those who were injured.
Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed stated this when he appeared before an adhoc committee on the 2015 Hajj and Umrah Operations to Investigate the Role of NAHCON.
Mohammed explained that in September 11, 2015, the crane crash claimed six lives and six other sustained injuries.
The NAHCON chairman said the dead ones had since been buried according to Islamic rites.
He noted that the second tragedy on stampede occurred on September 24, 2015, at about 10:30am.
Mohammed pointed out that after the incident, a search and rescue team that was set up had a challenge of identifying the dead bodies because they were with no means of identification.
He said it took the Saudi Arabian government long time to identify the finger prints and matching it with their data base.
The NAHCON chairman stressed that the last resort was a DNA profiling to identify the identity of the dead people.
Mohammed further clarified that the Saudi authority never gave the dead ones mass burial, adding that the stampede was not as a result of location or VIP movement.
In his remarks, chairman of the adhoc committee, Hon Ibrahim Dutse expressed dissatisfaction on the absence of state pilgrim boards at the public hearing.
Dutse, however, gave the secretaries of state pilgrim boards three days to send in their reports as regards the crane crash and stampede.
On December 15, 2015, the Committees of Foreign Affairs and Special Duties were mandated by the House to cary out a holistic investigation into the activities of Hajj Commission of Nigeria as regards 2015 Hajj and Umrah operations.

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