Saudi Arabia launches crane collapse investigation
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has pledged to find out what caused a crane collapse that killed 107 people at Mecca’s Grand Mosque in the run-up to the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The Hajj, a pillar of the Muslim religion which last year drew about two million faithful worshippers, will take place despite Friday’s tragedy, Saudi authorities said on Saturday as crowds returned to pray.
Parts of the Grand Mosque remained sealed off around the wreckage of the crane, which also injured about 200 people when it crashed into a courtyard on Friday
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had already arrived in Mecca when the red-and-white crane toppled over during a thunderstorm.
But there was little mourning among pilgrims, who snapped pictures of the collapsed metal and continued with their prayers and rituals.
“We will investigate all the reasons and afterwards declare the results to the citizens,” Salman said after visiting the site, one of Islam’s holiest.
Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, said: “My visit today is to check what had happened and know how we can rehabilitate the site again.
“We will open investigation into the causes of the accident and then announce the results to the public.”
Afterwards, Salman paid a visit to Al-Noor Specialist Hospital in Mecca where he was reassured of the health of the injured from several nationalities.
He also ordered the provision of all medical services to them.
Indonesians and Indians were among those killed when the crane collapsed, while the injured included Malaysians, Egyptians, Iranians, Turks, Afghans, and Pakistanis
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