Tamil Diplomat

Mecca crane collapse: Saudi inquiry into Grand Mosque disaster

Saudi Arabia has begun an investigation after a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, killing at least 107 people. The huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque – which was filled with worshippers at the time.  The inquiry is taking place as criticism grows over safety standards at the holy site.

It is unclear how many of the victims were killed by the collapse or the stampede that followed it. At least 230 people were injured in the incident. The collapse happened at 17:23 local time (14:23 GMT) on Friday. The head of Saudi Arabia’s civil defence agency, Lt Sulayman Bin-Abdullah al-Amr, said strong winds and heavy rains caused the crane to fall.

Mecca is currently preparing for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. Thousands of people are expected to arrive in the Saudi city from all over the world later this month (BBC News, 2015).