At least 87 dead as crane crashes into Mecca's Grand Mosque
At least 87 people were killed and over 180 injured when a construction crane crashed into the Grand Mosque of Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca on Friday, according to BBC.
Riyadh: At least 87 people were killed and over 180 injured when a construction crane crashed into the Grand Mosque of Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca on Friday, according to BBC.
The Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority also earlier confirmed the death of 65 people on its Twitter account.
Pictures circulating on social media showed bloodied bodies strewn across a courtyard where the top part of the crane, which appeared to have collapse or snapped, had crashed into it.
It was raining heavily at the time. The incident occurred as hundreds of thousands of Muslims gather from all over the world for the annual hajj pilgrimage set to begin later this month.
The Grand Mosque is usually at its most crowded on Fridays, the Muslim weekly day of prayer.
It houses the Kaaba - the massive cube-shaped structure towards which Muslims worldwide pray.
A massive project is currently underway to increase the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet), allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.
The mosque is surrounded by a number of cranes.
The haj has largely been incident-free during the past few years, with Saudi Arabia investing billions of dollars in transport and other infrastructure to facilitate the movement of the huge numbers of people who take part.