107 killed as crane collapsed on Grand Mosque of Mecca

Riyadh, September 12: More 107 people were killed and 238 injured after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in  Saudi Arabia's Mecca, Saudi authorities said.

Ahmed bin Mohammad al-Mansoori, spokesman for the two holy mosques, was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency as saying part of a crane collapsed at 5:10 pm (1410 GMT) "as a result of strong winds and heavy rains."

Abdel Aziz Naqoor,mosque worker, told AFP he saw the crane fall after being hit by the storm.

"If it weren't for Al-Tawaf bridge the injuries and deaths would have been worse,""he said, referring to a covered walkway that surrounds the holy Kaaba, which broke the crane's fall.

The incident took place just ten days before the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

This year's hajj pilgrimage will go ahead despite a crane collapse which killed more than 100 people at the Grand Mosque of Mecca, a Saudi official said.

The Ministry of External Affairs said that there were two Indians among the 107 people killed in the collapse. Around 15 Indian nationals were injured and were being treated in hospitals, said the statement posted on Twitter.

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