At least thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured after a bus collided with a heavy vehicle near the Muslim holy city of Medina, according to Saudi state media on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the accident 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, Saudi Press agency reported.
The crash took place near the Muslim holy city of Mecca.
According to reports, those involved were Arab and Asian pilgrims who carried pictures of the bus engulfed in flames and with its windows blown out.
The injured were taken to Al-Hamma hospital, Saudi Press agency said.
Authorities have launched an investigation, it added.
The accident comes after four British pilgrims were killed and 12 others injured in Saudi Arabia after their bus collided with a fuel tanker last year in April. They were on their way to the holy city of Mecca.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on bus mishap in Saudi Arabia’s Medina.
Modi tweeted, “Anguished by the news of a bus crash near Mecca in Saudi Arabia.”
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 17, 2019
In January 2007, six Britons, including a two-month-old baby, were killed in a minibus on their way to Medina after making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
As part of efforts to diversify its oil-dependent economy, the ultra-conservative kingdom wants to foster a year-round religious tourism sector that includes millions of pilgrims.
In September 2015, a stampede killed up to 2,300 worshippers — including hundreds of Iranians — in the worst disaster ever to strike the Hajj annual pilgrimage.
Earlier that month, 100 people were killed when a construction crane toppled into a courtyard of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.