According to Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authority, at least 107 people have been killed and 238 others injured after a crane collapsed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Friday evening.
Al Jazeera’s Hasan Patel, reporting from Mecca, said witnesses told him that a crane fell on the third floor of the Grand Mosque at around 5.30pm. He said the mosque was packed even though the incident happened before the 6.30pm prayers.
“Dozens of ambulances headed to the site. The authorities closed off the area shortly afterwards. This whole place is already a giant construction site. What made it worse is that around 5.30pm there was severe rain and it was just gushing down the road.
“I am surrounded by people who are grieving. The mood here is of sadness.”
Pictures circulating on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and masses of debris from a part of the crane that seemed to have crashed through a ceiling.
Major General Suleiman Al-Amro, director-general of Saudi’s civil defence authority, told Saudi TV that a storm with severe rain and wind speeds as high as 83kmh caused the tower crane to collapse.
Mecca is Islam’s holiest site. Pilgrims from around the world have started converging on the city and the mosque in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which starts on September 21.
- Pray for families of those killed and injured in this accident. Pray that they will find peace and comfort, and encounter the loving, healing love of Jesus.
- Pray for Saudi Arabia, as it prepares for the Haj. Pray that many of the pilgrims who gather will have life changing encounters, dreams and vision of Jesus, and come to trust in His love and saving grace.
Isaiah 45 vs 22: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”