Mecca crane collapse kills at least 87

11 September 2015

Fatal accident follows strong storms at the holy city

  • Crane collapse at Mecca’s Grand Mosque kills at least 87
  • Fatal accident follows strong storms
  • Other cranes in the city have also been damaged

A crane has collapsed onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca killing at least 87 people.

According to the authorities more than 184 people have been injured, and the number reported dead has been rising. Images posted on social media show a large section of a red crane that has fallen onto the mosque.

The crane fell onto the holy site after strong storms with high winds. Contractors working in Mecca say that the storm has damaged a number of other cranes in the city.

There are $31bn-worth of projects either planned or under way in the wider province of Mecca, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

The flagship project that has come to define the redevelopment of the city is the expansion of the Grand Mosque. Also known as Al-Masjid al-Haram, it is already the largest mosque in the world and is being expanded in several phases. Now in its fourth expansion stage, the Grand Mosque will eventually cover an area of 300,000 square metres (sq m).

That project, along with others in the city, is aimed at boosting the city’s ability to handle the high number of tourists visiting Mecca for a very short period of time during the annual Hajj and Umra pilgrimages.

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