Four British people have died and 12 others have been injured after a coach crashed and caught fire on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia، according to Daily Mail.
Blackburn-based travel company Hashim Travel confirmed one of its buses was hit by a fuel tanker on the way from Mecca to Medina and burst into flames on Saturday afternoon، with the victims taking part in an Umra pilgrimage.
A woman aged in her 60s from Blackburn، Lancashire، an elderly woman and her adult son، from Preston، Lancashire، and an elderly man، also from Preston، died in the crash، the firm said.
It is believed the four victims، who were aged between around 30 to 75، were left trapped inside the burning coach. Their families are planning to fly out to the Middle East in the next 24 hours.
The vehicle was hit near the town of Al Khalas in Makkah Province، western Saudi Arabia at around 1pm local time. The driver of the petrol tanker is also said to have died.
Gulfaraz Zaman، director of Hashim Travel told MailOnline there were 16 members of their group on the bus accompanied by two Saudi nationals. They flew out as part of a pilgrimage package on April 15 and were due back on April 29.
The deceased are believed to have been trapped on the burning coach while 12 survivors leapt through its windows to safety. The fire that ensued as a result of the collision burned the vehicle entirely، leaving only the frame behind.
Families of the deceased have had visas arranged and are due to fly to Saudi Arabia this evening.
Among the injured are people from Accrington، Preston، Birmingham، Wolverhampton، Northampton and Blackburn.
Mr Zaman added that 'only five or six' of those injured are still in hospital، the rest have been discharged. One of them is a young child.
He said: 'There was a crash between the coach and a petrol tanker.
'There were 18 people on the coach which was travelling back from Mecca towards Medina.
'It took place on a main road. Four people have passed away، one from Blackburn and three from Preston. The woman from Blackburn was aged in her 60s.'
Hashim Travel specialises in Umra and Hajj and has been providing travel packages for the past 15 years.
The Umra pilgrimage is similar to the annual Hajj one، which many Muslims undertake in August، but is smaller and remains optional.
Umra can be carried out at any time of the year، while Hajj must be done on dates of the Islamic calendar.
The Foreign Office says it is aware British Nationals have been killed in the accident in Saudi Arabia.
A spokesman said: '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.'