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Makkah Haram crane tragedy: 107 including 02 Indians dead
Saturday September 12, 2015 11:37 AM, & Agencies

At least 107 people were killed and 238 injured after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, the media reported.

According to Al Arabiya television, Saudi Arabia has been hit by strong sand storms in the last few days.

The cranes are currently used for the Haram expansion program underway at the Grand Mosque. It is believed one of them collapsed in high winds, Al Arabiya reported.

Saudi authorities have launched a probe into the case, while 15 civil defence and rescue and medical panels have been deployed at the site.

The crane fell down because of the bad weather, which was working on the expansion operations at the Grand Mosque, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to BBC, images from the scene appeared to show part of a huge red crane had crashed through the mosque roof.

An Al Jazeera correspondent in Makkah said witnesses told him that a crane fell on the third floor of the mosque around 5.45 p.m. (local time) when it was packed even though the prayers were to begin at 6.30 p.m. Rain had also lashed the area.

Pictures circulating on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and masses of debris from a part of the crane that seemed to have crashed through a ceiling.

The incident occurred as hundreds of thousands of Muslims are due to gather from around the world for the annual hajj pilgrimage set to begin later this month.

The ministry of external affairs in India on Saturday said that two Indians were among the 107 killed in the crane accident at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia.

"Our officials from the Indian Consulate in Jeddah have been on the ground and monitoring the situation through the night. Regrettably we have been informed that two Indians have been killed in the unfortunate accident," officials of the ministry said on their website.

The statement also added that 15 Indians have been injured and were being treated in various hospitals.

"These include 11 from the Haj Committee of India and four from private tour operators," officials said.

At least 107 people were killed and 238 injured after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, the media reported.

An estimated 3.5 million of Muslims from around the world are expected to reach Makkah by September 20. Out of them, about one million have already reached Saudi Arabia, and are camping in Makkah and Madinah - the two Muslim holy cities.

The incident occurred despite Saudi authorities taking utmost care amid the construction work underway at the Makkah Haram Mosque. After the conclusion of the current and final expansion, the mosque could accommodate more than three million worshipers in one hour.

In a recent incident, fire was broken out during Ramadan this year due to short circuit. However, there was no casualties reported due to the accident.

The Indian mission in Jeddah has published its 24/7 helpline (00966125458000/00966125496000) and toll free number (8002477786 for pilgrims within the kingdom), the statement said.

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