Grand Mosque in Mecca : 87 Haj Pilgrims Killed in Saudi Arabia (Video)
Grand Mosque in Mecca : 87 Haj Pilgrims Killed in Saudi Arabia (Video)

Grand Mosque in Mecca : 87 Haj Pilgrims Killed in Saudi Arabia (Video)

At least 87 people have died after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Another 184 people have been injured when the crane fell in what Al Arabiya television said were strong storms.

The Grand Mosque is the largest in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba.

Footage broadcast from inside the site by Al-Jazeera Television showed the floor strewn with rubble and what appeared to be pools of blood. Another video, on a Twitter posting, captured the apparent moment of the crane’s collapse during a heavy rainstorm, with a loud boom, screams and confusion.

The crane is thought to have struck the third floor of the Grand Mosque around 5.45pm when the mosque was packed, with the 6.30pm Friday prayers approaching.

“Dozens of ambulances are heading to the site. The authorities closed off the area shortly afterwards,” said Al Jazeera’s Hasan Patel.

“This whole place is already a construction site. What made it worse is that around 5.30pm there was severe rain and it’s just gushing down the road,” he said. “I am surrounded by people who are grieving. The mood here is of sadness.”

The accident took place as the Grand Mosque prepared to welcome millions of pilgrims in a few weeks’ time during Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.

Parts of the Grand Mosque complex were under construction amid plans to increase capacity and to make the pilgrimage safer – in the past it has been the scene of tragedies including stampedes which left many pilgrims dead.

Security services often ring Islam’s sacred city with checkpoints and other measures to prevent people arriving for the pilgrimage without authorization, and last year the number of pilgrims was restricted as a safety measure because of the construction work.

The Grand Mosque, the Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, is Islam’s most sacred destination and the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building Muslims face when they pray, dates from the 16th century.

Muslims are expected to perform pilgrimages to the site ate least once during their lifetime. Once there they walk round the Kaaba seven times anti-clockwise in a rite known as Tawaf.

The huge complex covers more than 88 acres and includes indoor and outdoor prayer areas. It is open 24 hours a day.

In July Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced a further five projects to increase the capacity of the complex, including tunnels and squares.

The project to expand Mecca’s Grand Mosque was launched in 2011 by the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and construction costs are estimated at more than $26 billion.


  • About News

    Web articles – via partners/network co-ordinators. This website and its contents are the exclusive property of ANGA Media Corporation . We appreciate your feedback and respond to every request. Please fill in the form or send us email to: [email protected]

    Check Also

    Brian Laundrie news: 'We're not wasting our time,' police commander says

    Brian Laundrie news: ‘We’re not wasting our time,’ police commander says

    VENICE, Fla. – Six days into the search for Brian Laundrie, police in North Port …

    Leave a Reply