107 dead as crane crashes into Mecca’s Grand Mosque
A storm was responsible for toppling a massive crane that crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Saudi officials say.At least 107 people were killed when the construction crane crashed as worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers just days before the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.”The incident took place as a result of heavy rains and high wind speeds,” a spokesman for the Saudi Civil Defence Authority said.”This led to the uprooting of trees and other minor damage. The collapse of the crane is the result of the high winds, which caused deaths and also injuries.”The wreckage of the red and white crane was seen lying across the floor of the mosque, while several other cranes towered over the site.Pictures of the incident on Twitter showed bloodied bodies strewn across a courtyard where the top part of the crane, which appeared to have bent or snapped, had crashed into the several-storey-high building.A video on YouTube showed people screaming and rushing around right after a massive crash was heard and as fog engulfed the city.Abdel Aziz Naqoor, who said he works at the mosque, told AFP he saw the massive construction crane fall after being hit by the storm.”If it weren’t for Al-Tawaf bridge the injuries and deaths would have been worse,” he said, referring to a covered walkway that surrounds the holy Kaaba, which broke the crane’s fall.Local journalist Kamal Idris said that Saudis and foreigners lined up on Friday night to give blood in response to the tragedy.Outside one hospital, more than 100 people waited in the street for their turn to donate, he said.
Crane crashes into Mecca’s Grand Mosque
The Islamic Heritage Research Foundation said there had been little regard for safety during the massive construction work being done to expand the Grand Mosque.Irfan al-Alawi, co-founder of the foundation, compared the carnage to that caused by a bomb.He suggested authorities were negligent by having a series of cranes overlooking the mosque.”They do not care about the heritage, and they do not care about health and safety,” he told AFP.The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was not aware of any reports of Australians killed or injured in the accident.Hajj pilgrimage will go ahead: official
Video shows injured people walking through Mecca’s Grand Mosque …Read More