At least 20 Umrah pilgrims were killed and 29 others injured in a bus accident in Asir of Saudi Arabia. The bus collided against a bridge, tipped over, and caught fire as a result of a brake failure, according to reports in Gulf News.
The accident occurred during the first week of Ramadan, a busy period for umrah pilgrimages, and only months before millions are expected to take part in the annual hajj pilgrimage.
Bus collided with bridge and overturned
The bus was carrying pilgrims of different nationalities, and the cause of the accident is believed to have been either car trouble or an issue with the brakes. The vehicle collided with a bridge, overturned, and caught fire.
Transporting worshippers around Saudi Arabia's holy sites can be hazardous, with the chaotic conditions during hajj season often causing heavy traffic on the roads.
Another accident reported in 2019
A previous bus accident near Medina in 2019 killed 35 foreigners and injured four others. Despite the dangers, pilgrimages remain an essential part of Saudi Arabia's burgeoning tourism industry, which officials hope will help diversify the country's economy beyond its reliance on fossil fuels.
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