87 dead at Mecca's Grand Mosque after crane collapses during lightning and high winds

Webmin
No Comments

mosque-deaths-moment-fatal-crane-struck-by-lightning.jpgAt least 87 people were killed and more than 180 injured when a crane crashed through the ceiling of the Grand Mosque of Mecca amid high winds and thunderstorms today.

Dramatic footage shows the moment the crane toppled in heavy rain, with another video capturing the chaos and confusion inside the building after impact.

Upsetting photos posted on social media shows the polished tiled floor of the mosque covered in rubble, bodies and pools of blood, and people fleeing the area bleeding and covered in soot.

The tragic incident in Saudi Arabia occurred shortly before the 6:30pm Friday evening prayer session - one of the busiest times of the week - causing devastation to what is the largest mosque in the world.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are gathering at the holy site from all over the world for the annual hajj pilgrimage set to begin later this month.

A massive project is currently under way to increase the area of the mosque by 4.3million sq ft - so that it can accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

Pictures taken before today's disaster show the fatal crane being struck by a bolt of lightning and authorities are in little doubt that extreme weather was to blame.

Earlier, the Civil Defense had issued thunderstorm, heavy rain and wind warnings in the area. Authorities say search and rescue teams and medical workers from the Saudi Red Crescent are now working at the scene.

The Grand Mosque, or Great Mosque of Mecca, surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba, in the city of Mecca.

The mosque is usually at its most crowded on Fridays as it is the Muslim weekly day of prayer, when Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba while performing their obligatory daily prayers.

One of the five pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

Muslim faithful from about 160 countries converge on the Islamic city and other locations in western Saudi Arabia to complete the holy journey.

 

Categories