Five members of a family from Newport have been killed in a car crash on the way to Mecca.
Shokat Ali Hayat, his wife Abida, eldest son Mohammed Isshaq, daughter Zainub and Mohammed’s wife, Bilques, were killed in Saudi Arabia on Friday. It is understood that a one-year-old survived the crash and is now in hospital with a broken arm and fractured ribs.
The family were making the 3,000 mile trip to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage when their taxi crashed.
– The Foreign Office
We are aware of a tragic accident in Saudia Arabia. We can confirm that British nationals were involved in the crash and we are providing consular assistance at this difficult time.
Great-uncle Sma Hayat, 58, told how they believe grandfather Mr Hayat saved the baby in the crash as the taxi veered off the road to smash into a concrete bridge in Saudi Arabia.
It is believed they were making the pilgrimage because pharmacist Zainub was due to be married this weekend.
The family were travelling by taxi from Mecca to meet relatives in the city of Jeddah when the incident happened on route 40 between the two cities.
Sma said how the last communication he received from the family was a text from Zainub saying the taxi was going "too fast".
He claims the driver fell asleep at the wheel causing the car to veer from the road and slam into a concrete bridge.
The baby, Mohammed Eisa Danial is due to be flown back to Britain for treatment after the weekend crash.
A funeral took place this morning in Medina, with 20 members of the Hayat family reportedly travelling from Newport for the service.