Mecca crane collapse investigation nears completion

Published November 9th, 2015 - 12:00 GMT
A preliminary investigation blamed strong winds and inappropriate position of the crane for the tragedy. (AFP/File)
A preliminary investigation blamed strong winds and inappropriate position of the crane for the tragedy. (AFP/File)

The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP) is preparing to submit to a specialized court its report on the investigations into the fatal crane collapse in Makkah during the peak Haj season two months ago, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

At least 109 pilgrims were killed and 238 others injured when a crawler crane toppled over onto the Grand Mosque on Sept. 11 amid turbulent weather. Saudi authorities immediately ordered an investigation.

The ill-fated crane was among scores of others used in the ongoing Grand Mosque expansion project, which is currently in its final phase.

“The BIP is awaiting a report from the architectural department of the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. It received reports from the Civil Defense and the Ministry of Health on the number of casualties resulting from the incident,” said a source.

The source also said any party found responsible for the accident would receive the appropriate penalty.

“The BIP is seeking the names of architects and construction engineers involved in the project. All directorates and companies involved will be held accountable. The agency has demanded a damage assessment report as the accident resulted in heavy loss of lives and property,” said the source.

The source added the Saudi Binladin Group, which was executing out the project, will be responsible for any damage in case the investigators attribute the accident to operational errors on its part.

“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman had announced that the Kingdom will compensate families of the victims. The heirs of each dead pilgrim will be paid SR1 million while the injured victims will receive SR500,000 each. The King also announced that two family members of all martyrs will be invited to perform Haj next year,” said the source.

The King also announced that the injured victims who were not able to complete their Haj rites this year would be invited to perform Haj next year.

Saudi Arabia granted visit visas to relatives of the injured victims who required long periods of treatment.

The Kingdom released a preliminary investigation report stating the cause of the accident as the strong winds that struck Makkah on the day. It also said the crane was parked inappropriately.

 


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