British pilgrims killed in Saudi Arabia bus crash

British pilgrims killed in Saudi Arabia bus crash

Four British travellers were killed and 12 others have been hurt in a coach crash in Saudi Arabia.

The coach was travelling from Mecca on an Umrah pilgrimage, when it was hit by a fuel tanker which caught fire and set the bus alight.

Trip organisers, Blackburn-based travel agency Hashim Travel, described the incident on Saturday as “horrendous”.

The group was travelling as part of an Umrah pilgrimage and had been in Saudi Arabia for a week.

The crash happened near the start of a five-hour road trip from Mecca to Medina, near the town of Al Khalas.

Eighteen people were on the coach when it crashed. All were taken to hospital.

The Umrah pilgrimage is on a smaller scale than the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Hashim Travel specialises in Umrah and Hajj and has been providing travel packages to people in north-west England for 20 years.

Company director, Gulfaraz Zaman, called the incident “horrendous” and “very distressing”.

“If you see the remains of the bus, there’s just the metal frame of it that’s left,” he told the BBC.

“It’s very upsetting – especially the people that have passed away; our thoughts are with the families,” he said.

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