Saudi Arabia Orders Investigations into Grand Mosque Accident


Saudi Arabian authorities have commenced investigation into why a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, on Friday, killing at least 107 people.


The accident occurred when a huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque as it was filled with worshippers.


At least 230 people were injured in the incident. It is unclear how many people were hurt by the collapse or the stampede that followed it.


Those killed are reported to include Indonesian, Indian, Iranian and Egyptian citizens.


Officials say strong winds and heavy rains caused the crane to fall, less than two weeks before the annual Hajj pilgrimage.


Lt Sulayman Bin-Abdullah al-Amr, the head of Saudi Arabia’s civil defence agency, said an investigation was being carried out to assess the damage, and the “extent of the safety of these sites.”


The Grand Mosque, known as the Masjid al-Haram, is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba.

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In spite of the disaster, Saudi officials say the Hajj will go ahead. Up to two million people are expected to arrive in Mecca for the Hajj from all over the world later this month.


Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the government and people of Saudi Arabia Kingdom over the accident.


While praying for the repose of the souls of the departed, Buhari called on the Nigerian foreign affairs ministry to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians on Hajj.