Dozens die after crane collapses at Mecca mosque

Saudi Arabian official says dozens of people have been killed and many more wounded as crane collapses at Mecca mosque

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Heavy storm causes a crane to crash at Grand Mosque in Muslim holy city Mecca.

Updated Sep 12, 2015

At least 107 people died and 238 were injured after a crane collapse in Mecca’s Grand Mosque due to strong winds and thunderstorms on Friday, head of Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority stated during a live broadcast on Al Ikhbariya television.

"All those who were wounded and the dead have been taken to hospital. There are no casualties left at the location," said General Suleiman al-Amr, director general of the Civil Defence Authority, who spoke to al-Ikhbariya television.

Hospitals in Mecca are asking for blood donations after the fatal crane collapse.

Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority had announced the accident on Twitter, but it turned out the death toll and number of injuries were many more than the initial reports.

A spokesman for the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs says, there are at least 17 wounded Turkish prospective pilgrims at the directorate’s hospital in Mecca. Anadolu Agency has reported there is at least two prospective Turkish pilgrim among the casualties.

Photos shared on social media show the pilgrims in bloodied robes and huge debris from a piece of the crane that seems to have ripped right through the ceiling.

The accident occurred weeks before the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.

In 2014,  Saudi Arabia decreased the numbers permitted to participate in Hajj for safety issues, because of the construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque. 


TRTWorld and agencies