Bus carrying Umrah pilgrims caught fire in Saudi Arabia. Photo/twitter/@ArthurM40330824
RIYADH – A bus carrying Umrah pilgrims to the holy city of Mecca caught fire after crashing into a bridge on Monday (27/3/2023), killing 21 people and injuring more than two dozen others.
The news was reported by Saudi state media.
“The accident happened at around 4pm in Aqabat Shaar in Asir province,” said Al Ekhbariya TV’s report.
Horrific accident in #SaudiArabia
At least 20 people have been killed and about 30 others injured in a bus crash in Saudi Arabia.Dur to malfunction of the brake system the bus lost control and collided with a passenger car, and then rolled over and caught fire pic.twitter.com/ZpsA0Duf0M
— Arthur Morgan (@ArthurM40330824) March 27, 2023
The bus departs from Khamis Mushayt and heads to the Abha region.
It happened during the first week of Ramadan when there was a spike in Umrah pilgrimages, and just months before millions of Muslims were expected to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
According to reports, the bus experienced problems with the brakes which led to a collision with a barrier at the end of the bridge, which caused it to overturn and catch fire.
“According to the initial information we received, the number of deaths in this accident reached 21 people, and the total number of injuries was about 29 people,” the television channel reported.
It said the victims were of “different nationalities”, but did not name them.
Footage shows what appears to be a burning bus shell.
Currently the Indonesian Embassy is still tracing whether there were Indonesian victims in the accident.