The world’s deadliest stampedes — all at pilgrimages

At least 45 people were crushed to death Friday in a stampede at the densely packed Jewish pilgrimage site of Mount Meron in northern Israel, one of the worst civilian tragedies in the country’s history.

Here are some of the deadliest stampedes in recent decades — all at religious gatherings.

Worst-ever hajj disaster

More than 2,300 worshippers were killed at the annual Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in 2015 after a stampede during the “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina on September 24.

It was the worst hajj disaster ever.

Saudi emergency personnel transport a body on a stretcher at the site where at least 450 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / STR)

Pilgrims from 30 countries perished though Saudi Arabia never updated an initial death toll of 769.

Tunnel stampede

In another hajj tragedy, 1,426 mostly Asian pilgrims perished on July 2, 1990, trampled underfoot and asphyxiated in a tunnel at Mina after a ventilation system failed.

The pilgrims from Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan were also there for the ritual stoning of the devil.

According to the authorities, panic set in inside an already hugely overcrowded tunnel when seven pilgrims fell from a bridge.

Witnesses said a power outage paralysed the tunnel’s two powerful ventilators.

Indian tragedies

Two stampedes in as many months in India in 2008 left more than 370 Hindus dead.

At the first in August, about 150 worshippers, many of them children, were killed in a temple stampede in northern Himachal Pradesh state.

Then a month later some 224 died as the faithful rushed to reach a hilltop temple in the northern city of Jodhpur.

Further stampedes during Hindu pilgrimages in Kerala in 2011 and Madhya Pradesh two years claimed 217 lives.

Bloody day in Baghdad

Some 1,000 people died in a stampede on the Al-Aimmah bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad during a Shia pilgrimage in 2005.

Hundreds of women, children and elderly people were trampled underfoot or jumped to their deaths after a panic sparked by rumours that a suicide bomber was among the vast crowd.

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