Monday, 21 September 2015

Mecca crane collapse: Bodies of two more Malaysians identified

The bodies of two more Malaysian haj pilgrims reported missing after a crane collapsed at Mecca's Grand Mosque have been identified.

Saudi Arabian authorities informed Tabung Haji about the discovery of two more bodies at 3am Monday, said Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Senator Datuk Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

They were identified as Abdul Habib Lahman and Shahidan Saad. Their bodies were identified by their family members at the morgue in Muassim said Dr Asyraf.

He said that at the moment, the priority was to hasten the return of the remains.

“Let us pray that their souls are placed among the righteous,” he said in a statement on Monday.

This latest development brings the number of Malaysian fatalities to seven in the tragedy on Sep 11, when a crane toppled over the grand mosque in Mecca.

The crane was part of a massive renovation project that is currently underway to expand the grand mosque, allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

The accident occurred less than two weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage on Sept 21, where hundreds of thousand of Muslims will gather at Saudi Arabia's two holy cities, Mecca and Medina as part of a tenent of Islam.

Monday 21 September 2015

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New migrant boat tragedy sees 13 die in ferry collision as search continues for nearly others including children feared drowned in second refugee disaster

The bodies of 13 migrants were discovered after a boat collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast. The commercial vessel hit the migrant boat off the western port city of Canakkale today, Turkey's coastguard agency said in a statement on its website.

An official at the agency said eight people had been rescued following incident and search-and-rescue operations were ongoing.

Meanwhile, a search for 26 migrants missing off the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos is underway after their boat sank this morning.

A Lithuanian helicopter from European border control agency Frontex spotted people in the Aegean Sea and two coastguard vessels rushed to the scene.

They were able to rescue 20 migrants, who said they were in a boat with a total of 46 people on board. State news agency ANA said there were children among the missing.

A coastguard spokeswoman said: 'They (the migrants) told rescuers there were 46 people in the inflatable dinghy in total.'

A search is also continuing east of Lesbos for between 10 and 12 people missing in a separate sinking on yesterday morning.

The coastguard rescued 11 people in that incident and recovered an unconscious girl from the water, who later died in hospital.

Monday 21 September 2015

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