High Winds Blamed For Crane Collapse in Saudi Arabia

High winds were to blame for the toppling of a massive crane that smashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque and killed at least 107 people ahead of the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage, the head of Saudi Arabia’s civil defence directorate said Saturday.

The disaster during a violent thunderstorm that roared through Islam’s holiest city late Friday afternoon was the deadliest incident in years surrounding the hajj, which gets underway in full later this month.

Images shared on social media showed a horrifying scene. The crane boom pierced through the roof of the mosque, bringing down slabs of reinforced concrete and leaving bodies lying amid pools of blood on the polished mosque floors as frightened survivors screamed in panic.

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