In another deadly road accident involving pilgrims, a passenger bus recently collided with a truck in the Saudi province of Medina, killing 35 foreigners and injuring four others. 

On Wednesday, a "private chartered bus" commuting on the Hijra road, 170 kilometers from Medina, collided with a loader on the road at around 7 p.m. The said road links Mecca to the city of Medina. The bus was transporting a total of 39 pilgrims from Asian and Arab countries, according to Arab News, when the horrific car crash happened. 

The injured individuals were immediately transferred to Al-Hamna General Hospital in the city of Medina. Authorities have also launched an investigation to better understand how the accident played out.

Saudi pilgrims crash death
Source: Arab News

The deadly crash comes a bit over a year after four British pilgrims also died after their bus collided with a fuel tanker. Twelve others were injured in that very same incident. 

The bus - which was transporting the victims from Mecca to Medina as part of an Umrah pilgrimage - had collided with a fuel tanker, ultimately catching fire.

The trip was organized by UK travel agency Hashim Travel, which confirmed the tragic accident. "The coach driver said they were traveling in the opposite direction to the petrol tanker when a car overtook the tanker and he had to move in to the side of the road a little to let it through but then the petrol tanker hit the coach which caught fire," said Gulfaraz Zaman, the agency's director, at the time. 

The agency, which has been providing pilgrimage packages to British Muslims for 20 years, described the incident as "horrendous" and "very distressing".

A car crash happens every minute in Saudi Arabia


On average, a car accident happens every minute in Saudi Arabia. This equates to more than 460,000 crashes per year. In 2017 alone, more than 7,000 people died due to car accidents in the kingdom. In 2016, the death toll was higher than 9,000. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Saudi driver is more likely to die in a road accident than from diabetes and heart disease. A driver in the country is four times more at risk when driving than from cancer. 

Over the last few years, the kingdom has taken a hard look at traffic fatalities. Fines for reckless driving were dramatically increased in 2016 in an effort to deter stunts such as driftingWhile the fine was previously between 1,000 and 2,000 Saudi riyals, the kingdom raised it to a minimum of 20,000 Saudi riyals ($5,332) for first-time offenders. The fine doubles to 40,000 Saudi riyals for second-time offenders and the car will be impounded for 30 days. Third-time offenders will be slapped with a 60,000 Saudi riyal fine and their vehicles face potential permanent confiscation.