Grand Mosque crane collapse: Death toll rises to 107

Grand Mosque crane collapse: Death toll rises to 107

Grand Mosque crane collapse: Death toll rises to 107

Written by Staff Writer

12 Sep, 2015 | 7:35 pm

At least 107 pilgrims were killed on the night of Friday September 11, and 238 were injured when a construction crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca.

The crane appeared to have snapped and smashed through the ceiling on the eastern side of the largest mosque in the world, following high winds and heavy rain.

The Masjid al-Haram, or the Grand Mosque, was particularly busy at the time, as Muslims from around the world converge on the site ahead of the Hajj pilgrimage at the end of the month.

Unverifiable mobile phone footage appeared to show the moment the crane fell, with a loud crash followed by panic and shouting.

A statement by a spokesman for the administration of the mosques in Mecca and Medina said the crane smashed into the part of the Grand Mosque where worshipers circle the Kaaba – the black-clad cube towards which the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims face to pray.

Pictures circulating on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and debris from a part of the crane that appeared to have crashed through a ceiling.

The First Secretary of the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah, M.B.M. Zarook said that no Sri Lankan was harmed in the incident.

News1st also contacted M.H.A. Haleem the Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs in this regard. He expressed the following views:

“… We have had communication with the Embassy. None of the Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims were injured. The Sri Lankan pilgrims are in Madina and not in Mecca. Therefore, we have not received any report of a Sri Lankan casualty …”

Two Indian pilgrims died and 15 were injured.

Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said:

”In this accident, 15 Indian pilgrims have been injured and two have unfortunately lost their lives. These two Indian pilgrims were from the state of Kerala. Our Consul General and other senior officers from the Indian Consulate in Jeddah are in continuous touch with those injured.”

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