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Six Ghanaian Pilgrims Die During Hajj Heatwave in Mecca

Gomba stated that initial reports suggested 13 Ghanaian fatalities, but the number was later corrected to six following fingerprint identification at the morgue.

The death toll among Ghanaian pilgrims in Mecca has risen to eight, with an additional six individuals dying as a result of the severe heat wave that has swept through Saudi Arabia according to the board’s spokesperson. 

Speaking in an interview on June 20, 2024, in Accra, the Hajj Board’s Spokesperson, Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomba, confirmed that the six new deaths experienced were a result of the 41 degrees Celsius heat wave.

“Currently, we can say six people died during the heatwave, even though an autopsy report is not yet out regarding the subject. So, it will take days before the number of Ghanaians who died as a result of the heat wave will be established,” Gomba said. 

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Fatalities were first reported among Georgian pilgrims, but it was later discovered that Ghanaians were also victims of the extreme heat.

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Gomba stated that initial reports suggested 13 Ghanaian fatalities, but the number was later corrected to six following fingerprint identification at the morgue. The victims were suspected to have entered the country on non-Hajj visas, which made it difficult to identify them.

According to him, the forensic centre at the morgue is still in the process of identifying pilgrims who lost their lives.

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“The forensic centre at the morgue where the corpses are kept before being buried had only managed to get six nationals from Ghana. When I asked him how they were doing it, they told me they were using fingerprints, and it was a laborious task,” he said.

Saudi authorities have directed pilgrims in Medina to stay in their tents between noon and 4 p.m. local time to avoid heat-related hazards.

Sky News earlier reported that over 1,000 people have now died during the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

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