At least 65 persons die in crane crash at Mecca Grand Mosque!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
As Muslims from all over the World are arriving in tens and thousands for annual Holy Hajj, sadly, more than 6o persons have died in the Grand Mosque owing to a crane crash.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported that at least 65 several people were killed and over 30 others injured when storms caused a crane to fall in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Mecca (Makkah) of Saudi Arabia’s holy Muslim city of Mecca on September 11 Friday. The Saudi Civil Defence authority confirmed the incident, but did not give any details on casualties.
Few details were immediately available but pictures circulating on social media showed bloodied bodies strewn across part of the mosque where the crane was seen having crashed into the ceiling.
Media persons said the mosque was packed, even though the incident happened shortly before the 6.30pm prayer. “Dozens of ambulances are heading to the site. The authorities closed off the area shortly afterwards,” they 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.” They are surrounded by people who are grieving. The mood here is of sadness.
Mecca is Islam’s holiest site. Masjid al-Ḥarām, also called the Sacred Mosque, and the Grand Mosque or Great Mosque of Mecca, is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba, in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims from around the world have been converging on the city and the mosque for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which starts on September 21. The annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage is due later this month, and Saudi authorities go to great lengths to be prepared for the millions of Muslims who converge on Mecca.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so, including circumambulation of the Kaaba.
Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba while performing obligatory daily prayers. The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres (88.2 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces, it is open at all times and during the Hajj period it is the site of one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.
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.
Last year, the kingdom reduced the numbers permitted to perform Hajj for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque. Bad weather was thought to be the cause of the collapse. Saudi Arabia has been hit by strong sand storms in the past few days. However, possible sabotage cannot be ruled out.
May Allah protect the pilgrims and the Mecca Haramain!