107 Dead in Mecca Crane Collapse
At least 107 people died and more than 230 people were injured when a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.The huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque – the largest in the world – that was filled with worshippers at the time.
The head of Saudi Arabia’s civil defence said strong winds and heavy rains had caused the collapse.
Mecca is currently preparing for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the Saudi city from all over the world later this month.
Mecca is preparing to welcome Muslims from around the world for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which begins in about 10 days’ time.
Islam requires that every Muslim capable of doing so performs a pilgrimage to the site at least once in their lifetime.
Saudi authorities began a major expansion of the site last year to increase the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet), to allow it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.
More than three million people undertook the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 2012. Saudi authorities have taken steps since 2013 to limit the number of people involved.
Large numbers of people have resulted in several tragedies over the years, including a stampede in 2006 that killed nearly 350 people.