NEW DELHI: Relatives and officials are still scrambling to trace the missing, even as the number of Indian pilgrims killed in the deadly Haj stampede rose to 22 on Saturday. Eight more Indians were identified among the dead in the last 24 hours. They were from Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
The victims from Kerala were identified as Zulfiqar Abdul Kalam and Sajeev Habib. Both had been staying in Saudi Arabia. Abdul Gafoor Kamal from Karnataka had gone on the Haj pilgrimage through a private operator, Rumani Enteprises.
While five were identified with the help of photos published by the mortuary, the rest were confirmed by their relatives. Among the 22 Indians confirmed dead, 11 were from Gujarat, four from Jharkhand, two each from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and one each from Karnataka, UP and Maharashtra.
With several people still missing, the toll is likely to rise further. “We are facilitating visits of relatives of missing pilgrims and tour operators to the complex for identification,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
She also tweeted that some bodies were yet to be identified.Relatives were desperately asking for information about their missing loved ones, particularly on the facebook page of the Haj mission in India.