Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday ordered that the families of those killed – or who had been permanently injured – in Friday’s crane collapse at a Makkah mosque each be paid 1 million Saudi riyals (roughly $267,000) in compensation.
Meanwhile, according to a royal decree issued by the king, 500,000 riyals (roughly $133,500) will be paid out to those who suffered less serious injuries.
A total of 110 people were killed – and at least 235 injured – when a massive crane collapsed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Friday.
When the accident occurred, the mosque was teeming with hundreds of worshippers performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
On Tuesday, most of the victims – including seven Turkish nationals – were buried in Martyrs’ Cemetery, situated adjacent to the mosque.
Saudi officials initially attributed the accident to “strong winds”, which, they said, had caused the crane to fall inside the mosque, which is currently undergoing extensive expansion works.
However, on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s official press agency SPA reported that board members of the Bin Laden Group – a prominent Saudi development firm involved in the expansion works – had been barred from leaving the country.
The news agency went on to report that a commission of inquiry had found the development firm at least partly responsible for the collapse of the crane, which, the commission asserted, had been left in a “precarious position”.
By Ahmed Badawy
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