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Brits killed in Saudi Arabia crash 'heading to Mecca for pilgrimage'

A previous Hajj pilgrimage
A previous Hajj pilgrimage
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A number of Britons have died in a serious road crash in Saudi Arabia.

In total, four British people - including a woman from Blackburn - have died and 12 others have been hurt after the bus they were travelling on crashed on an pilgrimage from Mecca to Medina.

Blackburn-based Hashim Travel said the coach they were on was hit by a fuel tanker which then caught fire and set the bus alight.

The Foreign Office says it is aware British Nationals have been killed in an accident in Saudi Arabia.

The travel firm said relatives of those who have died - who it said were a man, a woman and a mother and son - have been informed.

It is understood that a young child is among the injured. The coach was travelling from Mecca to Medina as part of an Umra pilgrimage when the collision happened on Saturday near the town of Al Khalas.

The Umra pilgrimage is optional for Muslims and on a smaller scale than the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which Muslims are obliged to undertake.

Hashim Travel, based in Blackburn, says it specialises in Umra and Hajj and has been providing travel packages for the past 15 years.

Passengers on the bus were from Accrington, Preston, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Northampton and Blackburn.

"We are supporting the British families of those who have died and those injured following a serious road traffic accident near the town of Al Khalas, Saudi Arabia," a Foreign Office spokesperson said.