2 Indians & 107 people killed in crane tragedy in Mecca

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When a crane crashed onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca,  at least two Indians got killed while 15 other Indians got injured in the accident as per reports provided by the Ministry of External Affairs and they said that  officials from the Indian consulate in Jeddah are monitoring the situation on the ground. The 15 injured Indians have been admitted to the hospital and are being provided with first aid. During preparations for the annual haj pilgrimage, 107 people have been killed and over 200 injured in the accident. The construction crane crashed near the Al Salem gate around the holy Kaaba as a powerful storm hit the crane.

Last year, the Saudi authorities have  reduced the numbers permitted to make the haj pilgrimage on safety grounds because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque.The haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rush to complete rituals and return home. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a crush in 2006. Such an incident is an unfortunate event even though Saudi authorities spend huge amount of money to expand the main haj sites and improve Mecca’s transport system, in an effort to prevent more disasters. Security services have checkpoints and other measures to stop people arriving for the pilgrimage without proper authorization.

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