Friday morning horror erupted at Mecca’s Grand Mosque after a crane crashed into the Grand Mosque, killing at least 65 people and injuring over 154 people. The reasons for the crane crashing into the mosque is said to be because of strong storms that are currently hitting Saudi Arabia, according to NDTV.
The civil defense authority confirmed on Twitter that the collapse had happened and the number of casualties was rising.
Mecca is a popular destination for the annual Muslim Haj pilgrimage, which is due later this month. The Saudi authorities go to great lengths to prepare for the millions of people who usually converge on Mecca for the event. Last year, the number of people was reduced to perform haj for safety reasons because of the construction work on the Grand Mosque. The mosque has been under construction to enlarge it to accommodate the number of people who attend.
Images of the destruction have been floating around social media, showing the crane that had broken through the room and debris that had fallen. Even images of pilgrims in bloodied robes have been posted.
A video from Twitter shows the heavy storm that had been hitting Mecca, and that footage catches the moment when the crane fell onto the Grand Mosque.
— Sarosh… (@G0thick) September 11, 2015
Many took to Twitter to express their sadness from the tragedy in Mecca.
My heart bleeds for the tragedy in Mecca May Allah have mercy on everyone Ya Allah Reham
— Muhammad Hammas (@Hammas_Rao) September 11, 2015
— Tahir Alom (@tahiralom) September 11, 2015
Those who got in contact with their loved ones are relieved but what must be the condition of those who still can't?
Just heard of tragic accident in Holy Mecca…. Prayers for departed and strength to bereaved!
— Arvin Chauhan (@arvin71192) September 11, 2015
This is not the first tragedy to hit the pilgrimage. In 2006, hundred of pilgrims died after a stampede occurred when pilgrims rushed to complete rituals and return home. Ever since the stampede, Saudi authorities have tried to expand the Grand Mosque in Mecca and improved the Mecca transportation system to try and prevent more disasters.
[Image by Muhannad Fala’ah/ Getty Images]