The Saudi Arabia civil defence authority reports nearly 200 injured as preparations were being made for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The authority said the crane fell as a result of a storm in the vicinity, however, it is not yet known if this was the sole reason or whether there were any structural faults with the crane. A tweet below appears to show lightning hitting the crane minutes before it fell which may have caused the tragedy. If so, questions will be asked as to why it wasn’t fitted with a sufficient electrical grounding mechanism.
Casualties as Mecca crane collapses http://t.co/gbQ8Xm1bRR
— Fly Round the World (@flyroundthewrld) September 11, 2015
Authorities: Dozens were killed and more injured in a crane collapse at Mecca's Grand Mosque http://t.co/I8G6eTOn6E pic.twitter.com/gUeYWeyIiv
— CNN (@CNN) September 11, 2015
Death toll from Mecca crane collapse rises to 65, says Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority http://t.co/v8Gs3ZPsY3 pic.twitter.com/E3UuCso2oB
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) September 11, 2015
social media reports suggest #Mecca crane was struck by lightning
Minute before the Crane collapsed killing 62 ppl pic.twitter.com/mDJ7kM2i9a
— AAMIR KHAN (@aamirsagar) September 11, 2015
Every year hundreds of thousands of Muslims make their way to the site as part of the Hajj Pilgrimage. According to Al Jazeera, the crane fell at approximately 5:45p.m., with the mosque being packed 45 minutes before prayer.
Some viewers may find footage in the video below disturbing and so viewer discretion is advised.