Embassy: Azerbaijani pilgrims mostly in 'stable' condition after traffic accident in Turkey

Embassy: Azerbaijani pilgrims mostly in 'stable' condition after traffic accident in Turkey

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 25 / Trend S.Agayeva /

Eight Azerbaijani pilgrims who were injured in a traffic accident in Turkey this week are in stable condition. They are currently recieving treatment in local hospitals and there is no threat to their lives, Azerbaijani Embassy in Ankara spokesman Elsever Salmanov told Trend.

Nine injured pilgrims are still in Turkey. One has finished his treatment, Salmanov said.

The bodies of five pilgrims who died in the accident were delivered to Baku today. Their names were Samad Ahmadov (born 1982), Hajikhanim Alijanova (1944), Solmaz Bakhshaliyeva (1941), Zemfira Dadashova (1965), Maharram Kerimov (1938).

Injured pilgrims who were able to be transported home arrived at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku today with the bodies of deceased pilgrims. The remaining injured pilgrims will continue to receive treatment in Turkey.

"Twenty injured people and the bodies of five deceased have been delivered to Baku," head of the Caucasian Muslim Board's International Relations Division Mugaddas Payizov said today. "Among the injured, eleven are in satisfactory health. One will be hospitalized. Six are still in Sivas. Another individual has stayed behind to look after other victims. Two are in severe condition, and have been left in Kayseri to continue treatment there."

According to Payizov, the Caucasian Muslims Board will cover all of the expenses connected with the incident.

While the questions of journalists, one of the injured pilgrims, Ilgar Muradov, said the accident happened without any notice and the bus operated fine until the incident.

"The weather was excellent," he said. "There was shiny weather throughout the day. The accident happened in the evening, at about 6-7 p.m. The bus was being driven on mountainous roads. Thank God the accident did not happen in a steep area."

During the accident, which took place yesterday at around 5:50 p.m. on a one-way road in the Sarkisla district of the Sivas province, five pilgrims died, and 27 were injured. Seven were seriously wounded, Caucasus Muslim Board spokesperson Rahima Dadashova told Trend.

The bus with license plate number 90-DS-393 was carrying 34 passengers.

According to police sources in Turkey, the bus driver lost control on a turn. As a result, the bus drove off the road and landed in a ditch. Ambulances, police, gendarme and civil defense forces arrived to the scene. Residents helped in the rescue operations.

This year, Azerbaijan has seen an unusually high number of pilgrims die during or after returning from the Hajj. Shamakhi region akhund Mustafa Mamishov died in a traffic accident on Monday on his way to Shamakhi after returning from the Hajj.

Seventy-five-year-old Jalilabad region resident Duha Mammadova also died at the end of a Hajj ritual.

Earlier, Khanbala Atakishiyev died in the Syrian city of Sham. His body was brought to Baku on Nov. 8 upon his family's request.

Sixty-eight-year-old Mafi Nazarov also died in Syria after making his pilgrimage to Mecca.

About 2,000 pilgrims from Azerbaijan committed the Hajj this year.

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