Beliefs

Crane crash at Mecca’s Grand Mosque kills 87, injures hundreds

Construction cranes surround the Grand Mosque. One crane crashed into the mosque on September 11, 2015, killing more than 80 people. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Files
Construction cranes surround the Grand Mosque. One crane crashed into the mosque on September 11, 2015, killing more than 80 people. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Files

Construction cranes surround the Grand Mosque. One crane crashed into the mosque on September 11, 2015, killing more than 80 people. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Files

RIYADH (Reuters) At least 87 people were killed when a crane crashed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense authority said, in an accident that came just weeks before Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage.

The civil defense said on its Twitter account 154 people were also injured in the accident. Al Arabiya television earlier said the crane had fallen because of strong sand storms in the last few days.

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

Saudi authorities go to great lengths to prepare for the millions of Muslim who converge on Mecca to perform the sacred pilgrimage. Last year, it reduced the numbers permitted to perform haj for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque.

The pilgrimage, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rushed to complete rituals and return home. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a stampede in 2006.

Saudi authorities have since lavished vast sums to expand the main haj sites and improve Mecca’s transportation system, in an effort to prevent more disasters.

Security services often ring Islam’s sacred city with checkpoints and other measures to prevent people arriving for the pilgrimage without authorization.

Those procedures, aimed at reducing crowd pressure which can lead to stampedes, fires and other hazards, have been intensified in recent years as security threats grow throughout the Middle East.

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Reuters

16 Comments

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  • Awful tragedy, so many killed.

    As for finding a trustworthy aid organisation. I lived in a city destroyed by an earthquake five years ago. It was a lucrative opportunity for fundraisers to collect money, some of which filtered down to those who had lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones, but much got stuck in pockets of others as it filtered down the chains.

    Alas this happens every time their is a disaster all over the world.

  • BB,

    Humans in agony are the “enemies” of Christians? “Faux” sadness?
    I guess you don’t have children or parents or…. anyone you love. I feel really sorry for you.

  • The enemies of Christians are Christians themselves. Not a lot of love between the sects, cults and groups who call themselves “Christian”.

  • Stupid and arrogant comments like that are a good reason for some to hate. Such hatred can result in reactions like 9/11.

  • Strictly speaking, not a lot of love between the sects and cults that claim that THEY are the only true Christians (Tom), and all the rest are shams.

  • I could easily imagine this being a Muslim on Muslim terrorist attack. After all, they do attack each other more than they do non-Muslims.

  • Or would it? The Wahabi sect OSB belonged to considered most others without their zeal as worthless as Calvinists consider the unsaved and those who score below 90% on the Christian Coalition politically correct score on items such as abolishing the Department of Education.

  • Yeah but the family is in tight with the Saudi royalty. Their fortunes are dependent on not having the king PO’ed at them. Wrecking the one thing which creates a tourism industry would not help that relationship.

    One of the reasons Al Queda never attacked Dubai, despite its plethora of Americans and Europeans and freewheeling approach to Sharia is that they never foul their own nests. Al Queda does its banking there.

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