107 killed, 234 injured as crane crashes into Makkah mosque
KABUL (Pajhwok): More than 100 pilgrims were killed and nearly 290 others wounded on Friday evening when a crane collapsed in the Masjid al-Haram in in holy city of Makkah, Saudi authorities said.
At least 107 worshippers were killed and 238 wounded, with the death toll likely to increase, the Saudi Civil Defence Authority tweeted. The civil defence chief, Suleiman bin Abdullah al Amr, and his team rushed to the scene.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but images from the scene showed part of a huge red crane crashing through the roof of the world’s largest mosque.
The accident came less than two weeks ahead of Hajj pilgrimage starts, attracting hundreds of thousands of Muslims from around the globe. Media reports linked the crane collapse to stormy weather.
A major expansion of the site began last year to cope with ever-growing numbers of worshippers, according to the BBC, which said the crane that collapsed was part of the construction work.
According to the state-run television, the crane fell because of strong storms. Harrowing images on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and debris from a part of the crane.
Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah, ordered the creation of a committee to investigate the incident at the Grand Mosque and submit its findings. He directed the authorities to provide treatment for the injured.
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