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الجمعة، 11 سبتمبر، 2015

Mecca crane crash: 65 dead at Grand Mosque - live

Mecca crane crash: 65 dead at Grand Mosque - live

Guardian News
Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence authority says 154 people also injured in preparations for annual hajj pilgrimage
Crane collapses on Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia<br>epa04925724 A general view from inside the Grand Mosque showing a part of a large crane that collapsed on the mosque on 11 September 2015. The civil defense authority of Saudi Arabia has confirmed at least 52 casualties with some 30 people injured in the accident. EPA/STRINGER

 Crane collapses on Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia Photograph: EPA
New pictures are emerging of rescue workers from the Saudi Red Crescent mobilising to help the injured, as well as images of the enormous red crane on its side where it crashed through the mosque’s wall.
Search and rescue teams and medical workers from the Saudi Red Crescent have been sent to the scene.
 Search and rescue teams and medical workers from the Saudi Red Crescent have been sent to the scene. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A huge construction crane buffeted by strong winds collapsed and crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca Friday, the Saudi Arabia Civil Defence reports.
 A huge construction crane buffeted by strong winds collapsed and crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca Friday, the Saudi Arabia Civil Defence reports. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images
The crane which collapsed onto the Grand Mosque is seen on its side.
 The crane which collapsed onto the Grand Mosque is seen on its side. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

87 confirmed dead in Grand Mosque

The number of people killed in the crane crash is rising, according to Saudi authorities who now say more than 80 people were killed inside the mosque.
The civil defence authority is tweeting updated figures, in Arabic.
The governor of Mecca region, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, has now ordered an investigation into the incident.
ارتفع عددالوفيات إلى ٨٧ حالة وفاة.
Here’s a more detailed map of the area around the Grand Mosque.
The current structure covers more than 88 acres, but is currently being expanded in improvement works that were due to be completed for this the five-day hajj, which begins on 21 September.
The number of pilgrims is strictly controlled by Saudi Arabian authorities and quotas from each country are reduced due to the construction work.
The area of the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where the Grand Mosque is situated.
 The area of the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where the Grand Mosque is situated.
Saudi civil defence authority has updated the numbers injured to 184.
It said earlier that 65 people were believed to have been killed when the crane crashed through the Grand Mosque.
ارتفاع عدد الإصابات إلى ١٨٤ إصابة.
This video captures the moment the crane collapsed on top of the Grand Mosque, and the confusion that ensures, with shouts as people run from the chaos.
 Mobile phone footage captures the moment a crane collapses onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Jon Erdman, a meteorologist for the Weather Channel, said there was extreme weather in Mecca at the time of the crane’s collapse.
View image on Twitter
T-storm straight-line winds likely the cause of the deadly crane collapse. http://wxch.nl/1XTPjwQ 
“Infrared satellite imagery showed an impressive conflagration of thunderstorms in the mountains around the ‘Hollow of Mecca’ Friday evening,” Erdman said.
“These storms were certainly capable of producing strong outflow wind gusts, as is often the case in desert environments.”
According reports on Al Jazeera, the crane fell on the east side of the building after a sandstorm, high winds and heavy rain.
The news channel reported the building’s doors were shut and people were locked inside. There was “slight pandemonium”, its reporter said.
“Dozens of ambulances are heading to the site. The authorities closed off the area shortly afterwards,” he said.
“This whole place is already a construction site. What made it worse is that around 5.30pm there was severe rain and it’s just gushing down the road,” he said. “I am surrounded by people who are grieving. The mood here is of sadness.”
This is Mecca’s Grand Mosque, also called the Masjid al-Haram, before the crane crash.
It houses the Kaaba - the massive cube-shaped structure towards which Muslims worldwide pray.
The Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
 The Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Khalid Mohammed/AP
Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk around the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Wadaa) at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca.
 Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk around the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Wadaa) at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca. Photograph: Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images
Muslim pilgrims perform Friday prayers in front of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
 Muslim pilgrims perform Friday prayers in front of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Photograph: Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images

Death toll at Mecca's Grand Mosque climbs to 65, with 145 injured

At least 65 people were killed and a further 154 were injured when the crane collapsed, the Saudi Arabian government has said.
The civil defence authority has tweeted pictures of rescue workers at the scene.
ارتفاع عدد الإصابات إلى ١٥٤ إصابة.
مباشرة مدير عام الدفاع المدني الفريق سليمان العمرو لحادث سقوط رافعة في الحرم المكي بـ . pic.twitter.com/aeVrlSi547
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Images of the chaos inside the mosque are circulating on social media, which the Guardian cannot independently verify and which are too graphic to reproduce.
They show numerous bodies, some already covered by scarves, and blood on the tiles of the mosque’s hall, where people had gathered for Friday prayers.
Saudi authorities had taken a series of safety measures over the past decade aimed at preventing crowd crushes, such as the stampede that took place in 2006, which killed 350 people. A building collapse the same year killed 76. Another stampede killed more than 200 in 2004.
Officials had limited numbers attending the Hajj after a peak in 2013, in which more than 3.1 million pilgrims arrived.
Bottlenecks in which crushes had occurred along the pilgrimage route were widened and religious authorities decreed that it was not mandatory for pilgrims to touch sacred spots.
Reconstruction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque has continued for the past two years and was expected to be largely completed ahead of this year’s pilgrimage which begins in less than two weeks.
This is the location of the incident, at Mecca’s historic Grand Mosque, which is currently undergoing major improvement works to enlarge the space.
The Grand Mosque in Mecca

What we know so far: At least 52 killed as crane crashes into Grand Mosque in Mecca

  • Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authority announced on its Twitter account more than 50 people have been killed when a crane crashed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
  • More than 30 people have been injured, the authority said.
  • Pictures have circulated on social media of bodies in the mosque’s central courtyard.
  • Last year, the kingdom reduced the numbers permitted to perform hajj for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque. The annual Muslim pilgrimage takes place later this month.
We’ll bring you more live updates as we confirm reports from Mecca.

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