Abbas Declares Day of Mourning Over Bus Accident That Killed 16 Palestinian Pilgrims

The accident in southern Jordan occurred when a bus en route to the Muslim holy city of Mecca overturned.

A bus damaged after a crash carrying Palestinian pilgrims en route to Saudi Arabia, on the outskirts of Maan, Jordan, March 17, 2016.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared a day of mourning following a bus crash in southern Jordan early Thursday that claimed the lives of 16 Palestinians.

A bus en route to the Saudi holy city of Mecca overtunred early Thursday killing 16 Palestinian pilgrims and injuring 36 others. Abbas asked that the injured be transferred to the Jordanian capital, Amman, to make it easier for their families to reach them.

Jordanian authorities involved in the investigation of the accident said there were indications of human error as the cause. Findings from the initial investigation showed that the driver of the bus strayed from his lane of travel and lost control of the bus inear the Saudi border.

All of the dead and injured were residents of the West Bank.

Scene of the bus crash.

Jordanian King Abdullah issued his own order that the seriously injured be taken to the capital, Amman, for medical treatment and said that the government would cover the cost of funerals of the dead. 

The transfer of the bodies of the dead to the West Bank has been slated to take place at the Allenby Bridge at 5 P.M. Thursday in coordination with the Civil Authority of the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. At the request of the Palestinians, the transfer has been arranged in cooperation with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the Palestinian affiliate of the International Red Cross.