VIDEO=> 87 Dead at Grand Mosque After Crane Collapse in Mecca
At least 87 were killed and 180 injured when a crane collapsed in Mecca today.
The catastrophe was caught on video:
The crane was hit by lightning.
— RT (@RT_com) September 11, 2015
A crane has collapsed inside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killing at least 87 people and injuring more than 180, the country’s civil defense authority said Friday. High winds were observed at the time.
The incident occurred at the Grand Mosque, according to the Associated Press. Pilgrims from all over the world are descending on Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, for this month’s annual Hajj pilgrimage, the report added.
Multiple cranes had been erected around the mosque as construction continued on new buildings, the AP also reported. In recent years, the area around the sanctuary has been transformed with new luxury shops and high-rise buildings, including the 1,971-foot Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, currently the third-tallest building in the world.
Strong winds were the likely cause of the tragic event, according to weather.com meteorologist Jon Erdman. Just after 6 p.m. local time, weather observations showed sustained winds as high as 25 mph at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, located about 40 miles west of Mecca. Erdman also noted that the airport was reporting sandstorm conditions, indicating a high likelihood of strong straight-line winds from the storms.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) September 11, 2015