One Singaporean was killed and several others injured when a bus carrying 31 passengers crashed into a lorry in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia yesterday. The pilgrims were in Mecca for performing the minor pilgrimage (Umra).
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) informed that the accident occurred between 1.00pm and 1.30pm Singapore time (8.30am to 9.00am Saudi time) and most of the passengers were Singaporeans.
It also added that the passengers were pilgrims managed by local travel agency Abu Bakar Travel Services Private Limited. The injured have been sent to three hospitals in Mecca to receive medical attention.
The deceased has been identified as Mohammad Abu Bakar Osman, who is the travel agency’s director. His wife and two other Singaporeans are said to be in critical condition. 17 other passengers have been discharged.
Meanwhile, MUIS is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide assistance to those affected.
“Our Consul-General in Jeddah has visited the injured at the King Faisal Hospital, and the Singapore Consulate in Jeddah will continue to provide the necessary support to the injured and their families, as well as to the deceased and his next of kin,” said MUIS.
“MUIS would like to express our deepest sympathies to all the pilgrims affected in the accident and is reaching out to their next of kin to provide the necessary support,” added MUIS
Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore has expressed concern on the incident through a Facebook post. He said he was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn about the accident.
“Muis is working together with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist the next-of-kin of the deceased, as well as the injured and their families,” wrote PM Lee.
“My deepest sympathies to those involved in this accident.”
Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore wrote on her Facebook page, “I feel very sad for our pilgrims and their families and I pray for their well-being and peace of mind during this very difficult period.”
Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs also wrote on Facebook that he was deeply saddened by the mishap.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this unfortunate incident,” said the minister.