51 Pakistani pilgrims injured in Makkah crane accident: FO

Published: September 11, 2015
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Picture showing the crane that collapsed in the Grand Mosque on September 11.
PHOTO: CIVIL DEFENCE TWITTER

Picture showing the crane that collapsed in the Grand Mosque on September 11. PHOTO: CIVIL DEFENCE TWITTER

Picture showing the crane that collapsed in the Grand Mosque on September 11.
PHOTO: CIVIL DEFENCE TWITTER Minarets and construction cranes are seen during the expansion of the Grand Mosque. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH / ISLAMABAD: At least 51 Pakistani pilgrims were injured in Makkah’s Grand Mosque accident, which caused at least 107 pilgrims to lose their lives, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalillulah confirmed on Saturday.

“Out of the 51 injured Pakistani pilgrims, 26 are under treatment in various hospitals, while 25 others received minor injuries and were discharged after treatment,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune.

The condition of all those admitted was stable, he added.

However, when contacted, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousaf said only 23 Pakistani nationals were injured, with two of them in critical condition.

Qamar said his ministry was in close coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Health.

“As far as the Ministry of Religious Affairs is concerned, the Saudi health department has confirmed only 23 people sustained injuries, and two were critical.”

Hajj will go ahead after deadly crane collapse: Saudi official 

This year’s Hajj pilgrimage will go ahead despite the crane collapse, a Saudi official told AFP on Saturday.

“It definitely will not affect the hajj this season and the affected part will probably be fixed in a few days,” said the official, who declined to be named.

PM expresses condolences

Meanwhile, Pakistan has extended all possible help to the kingdom, directing its ambassador in Riyadh to visit patients in hospitals.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also expressed his deep condolences over the unfortunate incident, Radio Pakistan reported.

Nearly 100,000 Pakistanis are in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.

Religious affairs ministry emergency cell

The Ministry for Religious Affairs, which oversees hajj arrangements, has formed an emergency cell which people can contact to get information about their relatives.

People can call the cell in Lahore at: 042-111725425, or they can call the liaison in Saudi Arabia on: 8001166622.

The incident

A massive construction crane crashed into Makkah’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather Friday, killing at least 107 people and injuring 238, Saudi authorities said, less than a fortnight before the hajj pilgrimage starts.

The civil defence authority said on Twitter that emergency teams were sent to the scene after a “crane fell at the Grand Mosque.”

#Saudi Makkah crane collapse 65 dies 80 people injured during #Hajj pilgrimage

A photo posted by Mohamed Fazmeer (@fazmeer.rasheed) on

That came about an hour after it tweeted that Makkah was “witnessing medium to heavy rains,” with some pictures circulating on social media showing lightning.

The towering crane toppled forward, smashing through a block on the eastern side of the mosque where the long corridor for Saffa-Marwa are located.

Director General of Civil Defense team later said that strong winds had caused the crane to topple over.

As many as 50 rescue workers were working with around 80 ambulances standing by.

Pictures of the incident on Twitter showed bloodied bodies strewn across a courtyard where the top part of the crane, which appeared to have bent or snapped, had crashed into the several storey-high building.

A video on YouTube showed people screaming and scurrying around right after a massive crash was heard and as fog engulfed the city.

The incident occurred as hundreds of thousands of Muslims gather from all over the world for the annual hajj pilgrimage expected to begin on September 21.

The Grand Mosque is usually at its most crowded on Fridays.

The governor of Makkah region, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, has ordered an investigation into the incident and was heading to the mosque, the official @makkahregion page on Twitter said.

He added in a subsequent tweet that despite the tragedy, this year’s hajj will go on as per schedule, directing officials concerned to “rearrange” and “restore” the site of the crash. He further said that the Saudi government will provide facilities to the injured to complete their religious obligations.

Meanwhile, online activists created a hashtag on Twitter urging Makkah residents to donate blood at hospitals in the area.

No details were immediately available on the nationalities of the victims.

But Iran’s official IRNA news agency, quoting the head of the Hajj Organisation, said that 15 Iranian pilgrims were among those injured.

Most of them were treated as outpatients, Saeid Ohadi said.

A massive project is currently underway to expand the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet), allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

The mosque is surrounded by a number of cranes.

The hajj has largely been incident-free during the past few years, with Saudi Arabia investing billions of dollars in transport and other infrastructure to facilitate the movement of the huge numbers of people who take part.

The official SPA news agency said in a statement that by Friday, almost 800,000 pilgrims had arrived into the kingdom for Hajj.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Waseem Ch
    Sep 11, 2015 - 11:06PM

    inna lillahi wa in allah-e-rajion

    The Saudis must make more efforts to ensure better pre-emptive measures to safe guard against these kind of incidents. Recommend

  • ali
    Sep 11, 2015 - 11:11PM

    @Umrd:

    This can happen anywhere. Its an accident. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 11, 2015 - 11:19PM

    Sad….were proper safe working procedures in place at the time ?Recommend

  • faizal
    Sep 12, 2015 - 12:26AM

    Allah is great bro….
    Pry for all muslim bro sis …
    Allah apna rahmo kam bane rkhey or jnty v pareshani any waly h unko dor krey or asani ka mamla ata kijey….Recommend

  • Sep 12, 2015 - 12:49AM

    MAY ALLAH HELP THOSE WHO INJURED AND FORGIVE THOSE WHO DIEDRecommend

  • Asif
    Sep 12, 2015 - 2:05AM

    Saudis maintained history of incidents during Hajj. Previously Hajis killed several times due to fire in Mina and now this has happened. Completely incapable and unaccountable people.Recommend

  • Yakoob Dassu
    Sep 12, 2015 - 2:09AM

    Absolutely, it can happen and has happened in the most advanced nations.
    wishing all injured a speedy recovery and solace to the kith and kin of the deceased.
    Acts of Nature cannot be forseen.Recommend

  • Iron hand
    Sep 12, 2015 - 2:31AM

    Bin Laden family owned crane collapses on Grand Mosque after being struck by lightening on 9/11? Just wow! Recommend

  • Khalid
    Sep 12, 2015 - 2:42AM

    A usual Saudi authority hiding facts. More than 500 people dead this is confirmed by people who were gathered there also no safety precautions for the workers working in the project.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Sep 12, 2015 - 3:14AM

    So sad news God blesses all we stand with our Saudi Arabia’s people and kingdomRecommend

  • Abdul Samad
    Sep 12, 2015 - 3:41AM

    Really aggrieved by this incident. May the souls of victims rest in peace and may Allah protect all muslims from such tragic accidents.Recommend

  • Muslimah123
    Sep 12, 2015 - 4:44AM

    This is just a huge pain in the chest. Astaghfirullah!!! AOOTHOBILLAH!!!! i cannot imagaine what these people are going through. These muslims will be in our prayers inshalla.
    MAY ALLAH SAVE US ALL AMENRecommend

  • Mahira
    Sep 12, 2015 - 5:15AM

    may Allah forgive those who died, accept their niyah of Hajj and grant them Jannah – Ameen. Prayers for the injured.
    May Allah have mercy on all – Ameen. Recommend

  • Photo
    Sep 12, 2015 - 6:42AM

    Allah’s wishes. These people are the lucky ones. They will certainly reach the heaven. Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:05AM

    The construction work is progress for last few years.

    This incifent is unique in nature. Normally safety is top most priority in Grand Masjid construction.

    An act of sabotage can not be ruled out.
    Investigation will reveal negligence and responsibles must be punished.

    Authorities must raise alert level during whole hajj.

    We are with Saudi Arabia on the occasion of this tragic incident.

    May Allah (SWT) give courage to bereaved families bear this loss.Recommend

  • Priyank
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:08AM

    You can call me conspiracy theorist, but this happening on 9/11 definitely puts American involvement in the radar of possibility.Recommend

  • Za
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:34AM

    I feel deep in my heart this is an event of utmost significance. This was caused by lightening. This happened on 911. In the Grand Mosque. In Saudi Arabia.

    Storms do not happen in Saudi Arabia. We should reflect on these events and their signs. This is a warning from the Almighty.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Sep 12, 2015 - 9:24AM

    Looks odd if you look at the date and the company owning the crane.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Sep 12, 2015 - 9:32AM

    Death is always mourned but this is blessing in disguise as they all died at no place but in the House of Allah-the most sacred and holiest place on the face of earth. Secondly Saudi Arabia is the only country which hosts so many millions annually providing the best possible services which none can boast of including the Super Powers so it is very unfortunate that we criticize Saudi Arabia. Fortunately I have performed 2 Haj and so many Umras so I vouch with full confidence and conviction that none can match it in handling millions at a given time or you prove me wrong. What a sheer coincidence that it happened exactly on 9/11 and neither before nor after. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / [email protected]/KuwaitRecommend

  • Faizan Gul
    Sep 12, 2015 - 9:35AM

    :(:(may Allah forgive those who died and give health who injured, accept their niyah of Hajj and grant them place in Heaven – Amin. our Prayers are for all .may Allah have mercy on all muslims umaah – Ameen.Recommend

  • Faizan Gul
    Sep 12, 2015 - 9:41AM

    Yes Iqbal Shab u r right
    we pray for all who get died. may Allah grant them place in Heaven.and make healthy all who injured in this incident.this is not the time to criticism but pray.
    it can happend anywhere so please pray for the best . Recommend

  • Haider
    Sep 12, 2015 - 10:02AM

    @Iron Hand
    Shameful as 100 people are killed and your saying “Wow”Recommend

  • Point
    Sep 12, 2015 - 10:06AM

    @ajeet:
    The crane belongs to a German company!!!
    And tbh whomever it belongs to that is just not the point.If you have nothing nice to say PLEASE STAY QUIETRecommend

  • Kolsat
    Sep 12, 2015 - 10:43AM

    @noman: what is there to forgive. These poor people lost their lives while working to provide better facilities to the pilgrims.Recommend

  • muhammad
    Sep 12, 2015 - 1:48PM

    salam , ALLAH give patience to parents whose relative died and give jannat ul firduas who died.no doubt all will die and will taste the death. main thing good amaal.Recommend

  • ya ali madad
    Sep 12, 2015 - 2:31PM

    Very sad newsRecommend

  • Rokib al Hasan
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:08PM

    Replymay Allah forgive those who died, accept their niyah of Hajj and grant them Jannah – Ameen.Prayers for the injured.May Allah have mercy on all – Ameen.Recommend

  • Yasin
    Sep 12, 2015 - 8:36PM

    There is a lesson in it for those who do not believe in absolute power of Allah(PBUH). Nothing happens in the universe without his writ. Not a grain of sand can move unless he wills otherwise. So when he decides that the crane should collapse, it will collapse. No power on earth and in heaven can stop it. Recommend

  • Sep 12, 2015 - 9:15PM

    AslamualekumAll,Please Ask Fatyha For Shohhda and pray for injured peoples Allah please your mercy and blessing on Muslim UmmaRecommend

  • Brar
    Sep 13, 2015 - 5:20AM

    @Khalid: Please never spread rumors it is difficult to hide such large number of casualities all those who have gone for Hajj are accounted for, pray or those who departed and injured accidents can happen any where.Recommend

  • Union Jack
    Sep 13, 2015 - 6:26AM

    @Yasin:
    So Allah decided to kill peace loving pilgrims who came to visit and praise HIM ? How about just honestly putting blame in human error and greed here ? This was a safety violation where the Saudis who wanted to create more fancy structure disregarded safety of pilgrims. But the delusion of Ummah makes you guys so blind to the obvious doesn’t it ?Recommend

  • Zee Ali
    Sep 13, 2015 - 8:08AM

    God’s way of telling saudis to stop converting Mecca into vegas…stop this massive remodelling and let the sanctity of the great mosque remain thereRecommend

  • Abdul
    Sep 13, 2015 - 8:55AM

    May they all get well
    And the dead people Rest in peace
    All this seems planned it never happened in so many years, Modi visited Uae and this happen, seems something conspiracy Recommend

  • haaji Iqbal Bhaijee
    Sep 13, 2015 - 9:22AM

    Innalillahi Wainaa Elayhi Rajiun

    This is from allah Subhanahutala make duwaa for all who died in this incident allah forgive them and give saber to they family and friend.

    Khuda HafizRecommend

  • Sep 13, 2015 - 12:00PM

    May Allah bless all injured with good health and its trye victims directly has gone to Jannah..Recommend

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