Singapore

S'porean pilgrim killed in Mecca bus crash, several others hurt

Several others, including his wife, hurt in accident

One Singaporean was killed and several others injured in a bus accident in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, while carrying out their minor pilgrimage (umrah).

According to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), the bus carrying 31 passengers met with an accident in the early hours yesterday (between 1pm and 1.30pm, Singapore time). Singapore is five hours ahead of Mecca.

A spokesman for the travel agency said the pilgrims included Singaporeans and Malaysians who had arrived in Mecca on March 12 on a Scoot flight.

They were to return to Singapore on March 25.

Haji Mohammad Abu Bakar Osman, the 64-year-old director of Abu Bakar Travel Services - the family-run travel agency behind the trip - was killed in the crash, which involved a truck.

His wife Fauziah Alias, 63, is warded in a hospital's intensive care unit in Mecca.

Their son Salhan Abu Bakar said her leg might be broken and her neck is injured, but she is conscious.

He added: "It is hard to get into the area, so we don't know how long it is going to take us to get a visa and fly in."

FLIGHT

His sister Siti later said the family is expected to fly out today.

Muis said the injured have been sent to hospitals in Mecca to receive medical attention. It added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is helping those who have been affected.

"Our Consul-General in Jeddah has visited the injured at the King Faisal Hospital, and the Singapore Consulate in Jeddah will continue to provide the necessary support to the injured and their families, as well as to the deceased and his next of kin," said Muis, which expressed its deepest sympathies to all the pilgrims affected.

A spokesman for the Association of Muslim Travel Agents said 17 of the passengers have been discharged while 10 others are warded in another hospital.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his deepest sympathies to those involved in the accident in a Facebook post.

In a Facebook post, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim wrote: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the bus accident involving our Singaporean pilgrims who were performing umrah in Mecca.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this unfortunate incident."

The Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association offered condolences to the family of Mr Mohammad Abu Bakar.

ACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD