Dhaka - At least 18 Bangladeshi pilgrims were killed and 16 others were injured in an accident that killed 24 omrah hajj pilgrims and injured around 23 people in the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia on Monday, said a Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday.
The deceased were identified as Shahidul Islam, son of Shariat Ulla in Senbagh from Noakhali district, Mamun Mia, son of Abdul Awal and Russel Molla of Muradnagar in Cumilla district, Mohammad Helal of Noakhali district, Sabuj Hossain of Laxmipur district, Md Asif and Shafatul Islam of Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar district, Md Imam Hossain Rony, son of Abdul Latif in Gazipur district, Ruk Mia, son of Kalu Mia of Chandpur district, Gias Hamid of Debidwar in Cumilla district, Mohammad Nazrul Islam, son of Kawsar Mia and Rony, son of Iskandar of Jashore district and Mohammad Hossain of Cox’s Bazar district, Ruhul Amin, Khairul Islam, Tushar Mazumder, Miraz Hossain, Sakib, son of Abdul Awal and Rana Mia.
At least 16 Bangladeshi nationals are receiving medical treatments in four different hospitals across the country.
The bus was carrying 47 omrah hajj pilgrims to Makkah and among them thirty-five passengers were Bangladeshi nationals.
The accident occurred in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province - around 650 km away from Jeddah - at around 4:00 PM on Monday.
According to media reports, the bus collided with a bridge following a brake failure, overturned and burst into flames.
Hospital authorities said that it is very difficult to determine the nationality due to the burning and disfiguring of the bodies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended its heartfelt condolences to the relatives of those who have lost their lives in this tragic accident and remains connected with the wounded and hospitalized and is working for the early repatriation of the dead.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said the number of Bangladeshi nationals who died in the crash could rise as many of the wounded -- who are receiving medical treatment in different hospitals across the country -- are in critical condition.
He hoped that the bodies of the Bangladeshi nationals would be returned as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday expressed deep shock and sorrow at the horrific bus crash that killed around 24 omrah hajj pilgrims and injured around 23 people in the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia on Monday.
In a condolence message, she prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed souls and quick recovery of the injured persons.
She asked the Foreign Ministry officials and the Saudi Mission personnel to take necessary actions for recovering the bodies of Bangladeshi nationals and ensure proper treatment for the injured.