The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Tuesday, 7 July

Possible Safety Oversights Add to Agony in Mecca

18th September 2015

The death toll in the Mecca crane tragedy in Mecca last Friday may have been due to the rush to complete construction work at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. 

The fatalities are likely to rise above the current 107 with over 230 people injured when one of the huge cranes surrounding the Grand Mosque, the largest in the world, fell on to the building while worshippers were attending.

Although there was uncertainty about whether it was particularly windy weather or a lightning strike that caused the collapse, concern had already been voiced about the wisdom of having construction work going on so near to what is regarded as the holiest site in Islam. There are currently a reported 15 large cranes surrounding the site amid major redevelopment work.

The main contractor for this and many other large scale building works in Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Binladin Group, founded by the father of the late Al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.

Saudi authorities have insisted that the mosque will remain open for the annual hajj pilgrimage and official figures have stated that 910,000 have already arrived before 21 September when it begins officially. An emergency committee has been established by Saudi Arabia's King Salman who has promised to find the cause of the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque. It appears that the authorities are already moving towards the conclusion that the incident was because of the high winds during the thunderstorm.

The massive expansion, costing £14 billion, at the mosque complex will see an expansion by 4.3m sqft and allow 2.2 million people to be in the place at one time.

However, criticism that the building work was continuing in such close proximity to active worshipping, is bound to be voiced, even in a country that is not particularly known for free expression. Irfan al-Alawi, co-founder of the Mecca-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told the Daily Mail that he believed it was negligent having a number of cranes overlooking the mosque. “They do not care about the heritage and they do not care about health and safety,” he stated.

Picture: The crane which caused the death of at least 107 people at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Article written by Mike Gannon – published 18th September 2015


Related Articles

New York Cleaning Staff Urged To Use Paid Leave If Exposed To Coronavirus

According to an internal document leaked to The Guardian newspaper, cleaning staff at WeWork offices in New York are being asked to use annual or sick leave if they are...

 Read Full Article
Interclean Amsterdam Decides To Postpone

Originally scheduled for 12-15 May 2020, Interclean Amsterdam has been postponed. The new date for the cleaning and hygiene show is, as yet, unknown. However...

 Read Full Article
France Unveils New 50% Timber Sustainability Law

The French government has announced new sustainability legislation to help make the country carbon-neutral by 2050. The new law will mandate that new public...

 Read Full Article
WSP Global Inc And AECOM Deal Moving Ahead

WSP Global Inc. is moving ahead with its acquisition of rival engineering services firm AECOM, as reported by Bloomberg. Neither company has yet made any...

 Read Full Article
Extra Fast Construction In Wood You Believe It?

Metsä Group’s new visitor centre in Äänekoski, in Central Finland, is a prime example of fast construction using wood. The 1,000sq.m building...

 Read Full Article
Built By Data - A Closed-Loop Digital Design Workflow For Building Construction

The building construction process is time-consuming, writes Liss Christine Werner. Each function, from design to production and construction, follows a linear workflow...

 Read Full Article
Time to Get Out of the Office

Feedback on new business ideas should be sought outside company walls, research from King’s Business School and the University of Amsterdam has found, but...

 Read Full Article

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) have released a new, improved briefing paper that outlines how projects may...

 Read Full Article
CBRE GWS Buys Lender

CBRE Group has acquired Geico Lender, a building technical engineering services provider in Italy. Geico Lender will operate as part of CBRE’s Global Workplace...

 Read Full Article
Andromeda Strained - International Cyber Op Dismantles Botnet

On November 29, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in close cooperation with the Luneburg Central Criminal Investigation Inspectorate in Germany, Europol’s...

 Read Full Article