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Saudi official blames high wind for toppling of Makkah crane

AP/Riyadh
Filed on September 12, 2015

A picture of the crane that crashed in to Makkah's Grand Mosque on September 11.
(Agencies)

A picture of the crane that crashed in to Makkah's Grand Mosque on September 11.
(Agencies)

A picture of the crane that crashed in to Makkah's Grand Mosque on September 11.
(Agencies)

Director General Suleiman bin Abdullah Al Amro told satellite broadcaster Al Arabiya on Saturday that unusually powerful winds in the area also tore down trees and signs as a storm whipped through the area.

The head of Saudi Arabia's civil defense directorate says high winds caused a massive crane to topple over and smash into Makkah's Grand Mosque, killing at least 107 people ahead of the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Director General Suleiman bin Abdullah Al Amro told satellite broadcaster Al Arabiya on Saturday that unusually powerful winds in the area also tore down trees and signs as a storm whipped through the area.

He denied reports that lightning brought down the red-and-white crane or that some of those killed died in a stampede.

The civil defense directorate says 238 people were injured in the accident late Friday afternoon at the mosque, which houses the cube-shaped Kaaba and is ringed by several cranes engaged in ongoing construction work to expand the site.


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