717 Dead, 863 Injured In Mecca Pilgrimage Stampede

Muslim pilgrims gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Hundreds were killed and injured, Saudi authorities said. The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about five kilometers (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca that has been the site of hajj stampedes in years past. (AP Photo)

A stampede of pilgrims killed at least 717 people on Thursday just outside the Holiest site in Islam, Mecca, located in Saudi Arabia. At least 863 others were injured during the stampede, according to a Saudi defense official speaking with members of the media.

Saudi authorities have said that this is the worst disaster occurring at the annual Haj pilgrimage in at least 25 years, according to a report by Reuters.

It has also been reported that the worst disaster in recent memory took place in 1990 when 1,426 worshippers were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca.

This tragedy comes only a few weeks after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca killing 107 people during a violent windstorm.