Saudi court: Contractor in crane collapse not charged with negligence

2015-09-15 19:45
Saudi emergency teams stand next to a construction crane after it crashed into the Grand Mosque of Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca. (AP)

Saudi emergency teams stand next to a construction crane after it crashed into the Grand Mosque of Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca. (AP)

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Istanbul - A Saudi Arabia court ruled on Tuesday that there were no grounds for criminal negligence charges in a crane collapse that killed 107 people at the Islamic Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca over the weekend, state broadcaster al Arabiya reported.

The Binladen Group, which managed the construction at the site, would not get further governmental contracts and members of the consortium would face travel restrictions pending further investigation, according to the report.

The Saudi-based multinational company, founded by the father of Osama bin Laden, is one of the largest construction conglomerates in the world.

A severe rainstorm has been suspected as the cause of Friday's accident.

Families of the victims, who reportedly hail from countries that include Egypt, Pakistan and Iran, are due to receive one million riyals ($266 665) compensation, according to broadcaster.

About 238 people injured in the incident, which occurred ten days before the annual hajj pilgrimage season.

More than 909 000 pilgrims have already arrived in Saudi Arabia for hajj rituals that are due to begin on September 21, according to official figures released at the weekend.

More than 1 million pilgrims are expected for this year's hajj. The annual congregation is one of the world's largest.

Last year, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, started construction work to expand the Grand Mosque.

The mosque, Islam's holiest site, has in its centre the cube-shaped Kaaba, to which Muslims around the world direct their faces in their daily prayers.

Muslims are expected to perform the pilgrimage at least once during their lifetime if they have the means to do so.

Over the years, pilgrims in Saudi Arabia have lost their lives due to stampedes and fires. In recent years, the oil-rich kingdom has invested in making the pilgrimage rituals easier and safer.

In 2006, a stampede killed nearly 350 pilgrims.

Read more on:    saudi arabia

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