Saudi Arabia

Saudi: Fire Breaks Out in Mecca Tunnel, No Casualties

A technical problem that hit a car inside a tunnel in the Saudi city of Mecca sparked a fire that gutted the vehicle, but caused no casualties.

The accident occurred inside the Haram Tunnel on Wednesday, coinciding with the departure of worshippers from the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest place, after performing special prayers marking the Muslim Eid Al Fitr.

Rapid Task Traffic police sealed off the road and evacuated the tunnel, detouring car traffic, thus heading off casualties.

Eid Al Fitr, celebrated as of the first day of the 10th Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of Ramadan.

Ramadan usually marks the peak season of Umrah or lesser pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, home to the Kaaba that Muslims direct in their prayers.

Authorities in Mecca, known as Saudi Arabia’s Holy Capital, maximised efforts to manage the huge crowds and help worshippers undertake rites with comfort and ease.

More than 2 million Muslims reportedly thronged the Grand Mosque and its outer courtyards last Friday corresponding to the eve of the 27th of Ramadan, believed to be the most likely date for Laylat Al Qadr, or the Night of Power, when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

The faithful also flocked to the sprawling mosque early Wednesday to attend the Eid prayers.


Gulf News

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