Eight pilgrims killed in Saudi bus crash

Another 37 injured after bus overturned on road near holy city of Madinah - report
Eight pilgrims killed in Saudi bus crash
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 20 Aug 2012 11:27 AM

Eight pilgrims were killed and 37 others injured when a bus overturned near the holy city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, it has been reported.

The pilgrims, who had performed Umrah in Makkah a day earlier, were on their way back to Madinah to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, the Saudi Gazette said in a report posted on Monday.

It quoted Khaled Al-Juhani, spokesman of Madinah Civil Defence, as saying that preliminary investigations suggest the driver of the bus fell asleep at the wheel.

According to the Civil Defence, the bus rolled over several times after the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit an electricity pylon.

The Gazette said there were a total of 45 pilgrims inside the bus and six teams from the civil defence freed many injured pilgrims who were trapped inside the bus and rushed them to King Fahd Hospital for treatment. Air ambulances also took part in the rescue operation, it added.

Muhammad Ajlan Al-Shanbary, dDirector of Madinah Region Traffic Department, added: “There weren’t any skid marks on the road, which indicates that there wasn’t an emergency as the driver did not slam on the brakes. He probably fell asleep at the wheel."

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