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Tragedy in holy city of Mecca: 87 dead as crane collapses on Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia


SomaNet News Archive

The Saudi Arabian government has said some 87 people have died after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, BBC reported Friday.

Saudi Arabian civil defence authority reportedly said on Twitter that more than 180 people were injured in the accident, according to BBC who added that images from the scene showed part of a huge red crane crashed through the mosque's roof. The cause of the collapse is not known.

Holy Mecca is currently preparing for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the Saudi city from all over the world later this month.BBC cites reports as suggesting the crane fell following high winds and rain. The Arabian peninsula has been has been hit by strong sand storms over the past week.

Islam requires that every Muslim capable of doing so performs a pilgrimage to the site at least once in their lifetime. Once at the mosque, pilgrims perform "tawaf" - walking seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction.