A Bin Laden company crane that was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, collapsed at the Great Mosque of Mecca just before evening prayers, crushing many pilgrims to death and injuring others. The occurrence on Friday, September 11, 2015, which marked the fourteenth anniversary of New York’s World Trade Center attacks, was described by an engineer for the mosque’s renovations as an “act of God.”
A WND report placed the death toll at 107 with 238 injured from the crane crashing down on Friday worshippers. Authorities blamed heavy rain, lightning strikes, and high winds for the calamity in the holy city of Mecca wherein people were gathered in advance of 6:30 p.m. prayer.
The massive construction crane estimated to have a 400-ton capacity, belongs to a company founded by Osama Bin Laden’s late billionaire father, Mohammed. The Saudi Bin Laden Group, as the company is called, is a construction conglomerate with major building contracts in Saudi Arabia.
According to Wikipedia, the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks belonged to al-Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, and 15 of them were Saudi Arabian nationals. Of the remainder, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.
In an Al jazeera report, a spokesperson for the administration of the Mecca and Medina mosques determined that the crane toppled in the section of the Grand Mosque where worshippers circle the Kaaba, a black cube-like structure of stone. The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims face in the direction of this ancient relic at the heart of the Grand Mosque when they pray.
The Saudi Red Crescent indicated on Facebook that more than 68 emergency and rescue groups were called to the scene of the tragedy.
Al Jazeera’s Mecca correspondent, Hasan Patel, reported eyewitness accounts of the crane falling on the third floor of the Grand Mosque at around 5:30 p.m. where people were preparing to pray.
At the center of the investigation is the Bin Laden company engaged in enlarging the mosque which is 3.84 million square feet with a capacity for up to 820,000 worshippers. The expansion will go to 4.3 million square feet, to accommodate some 2.2 million people each time.
Company sources insisted that the crane had been there for three or four years with no problem. According to the New Straits Times, an engineer for the Saudi Bin Laden Group who did not wish to be identified, made the following statement.
“It was not a technical issue at all. I can only say that what happened was beyond the power of humans. It was an act of God and, to my knowledge, there was no human fault in it at all.”
A photo of a lightning bolt striking the crane has gone viral online. What people might also find uncanny is the Bin Laden name cropping up in such a tragedy at the heart of Islam on September 11.
[Photo by Muhannad Fala’ah/Getty Images]