Five members of British family on pilgrimage to Mecca killed in Saudi Arabia car crash
Rob Hastings is Deputy News Editor at The Independent. He has served on the news desk since 2010, and also writes travel articles, music reviews and features. In 2015 he shortlisted for the Washington Post’s Laurence Stern Fellowship for a series on reportage features from Iran.
Monday 11 February 2013
Five members of a British family on pilgrimage to Mecca have been killed in a car crash in Saudi Arabia – with a one-year-old boy the only survivor.
Three generations of the Welsh family had been travelling to the holy city before a family wedding when the taxi they were riding in struck a bridge and crashed into a ditch.
The victims have been named locally as 56-year-old Shaukat Ali Hayat and his wife Abida, 47, along with their daughter Saira Zenub, their eldest son Mohammed Isshaq, 33, and his heavily pregnant wife, Bilques, 31. It is believed that one-year-old Mohammed Eisa Daniel, the son of Mohammed and Bilques, was the only survivor. Reports say he was found among the crumpled wreckage being cradled in the arms of his dying grandfather.
The Hayat family, from Newport in South Wales, had been in Saudi Arabia as part of the Umrah, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, because Saira Zenub was due to get married this weekend.
It is understood that the car went into a concrete bridge, somersaulted off the road and ended up in a ditch. The Foreign Office confirmed it is providing consular assistance to the victims’ relatives following the accident on Friday.
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