International

Saudi king responds to crane collapse

15 September 2015
A huge construction crane buffeted by strong winds collapsed and crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque which surrounds the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site on 11 September (Photo by Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has vowed to make public the cause of the crane collapse that killed a reported 111 people at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Friday, 11 September.

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A report on the incident will be submitted to him this Friday, 18 September, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“We will investigate all the reasons and afterward declare the results to the citizens,” the king said after visiting the site where construction firm Saudi Binladen Group is undertaking work on a major expansion of the mosque, reported to cost $26.6bn.

The huge construction crane buffeted by strong winds toppled on Friday, crashing through the roof of the Grand Mosque which surrounds the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site.

The tragedy happened as the site was already crowded in advance of the annual pilgrimage known as the hajj, which begins later this month.

“Whoever is responsible (for the tragedy) will be held accountable,” said King Salman on Twitter, wishing speedy recovery for the estimated 230 injured in the accident.

The contractor, Saudi Binladen Group, has been directed to ensure the safety of all other cranes at the site, said SPA.

Last year 2 million people made the pilgrimage, but the Grand Mosque expansion initiated by the late King Abdullah in 2011 is expected to accommodate 1.2 million additional worshippers.

Read the rest of the article at GCR

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