Saudi Arabia partly blames Binladin Group in crane deaths

Saudi Arabia partly blames Binladin Group in crane deaths
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in part blamed construction giant Binladin Group for the crane collapse at Mecca last week that killed at least 111 people and injured over 390.
2 min read
16 September, 2015
The crane collapsed at Mecca's Grand Mosque on September 12, killing and injuring dozens [AFP]
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's King Salman sanctioned the Saudi Bin Laden Group over the collapse of a construction crane at Mecca's Grand Mosque. The incident killed more than 100 people days before the hajj pilgrimage.

An investigative committee concluded that the company "was in part responsible" for Friday's tragedy, which killed at least 107 people and injured almost 400 during a severe thunderstorm accompanied by violent winds.

Investigators found that the crane was allegedly "in a wrong position" when the high winds struck, as its main arm should have been lowered, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

"The position of the crane was in violation of operating instructions prepared by the manufacturer," SPA said, adding there had been no response to several letters from concerned authorities about that crane and others.

The firm's executives have been forbidden from leaving the kingdom pending the completion of legal action, SPA said, adding that Salman ordered prosecutors to prepare an indictment. Until the case is closed, the company will also be excluded from new public projects.
The company will be excluded from new public projects

According to Saudi Binladen Group's website, the company has worked on numerous prominent projects in Saudi Arabia including Al-Faisaliah tower in central Riyadh, King Abdullah Financial District, universities and the King Abdel-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The construction firm belongs to the family of the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Saudi Arabia's Finance Ministry has been ordered to "urgently review all current government projects being executed by the group and others to ensure compliance with safety procedures," SPA said.

Saudi Binladin Group had been working for four years on a multibillion-dollar 400,000-square-meter enlargement of the Grand Mosque, to accommodate increasing numbers of pilgrims.