Trial into Mecca crane disaster could 'begin soon'

Trial into Mecca crane disaster could 'begin soon'
The trial into a crane disaster killing 111 people in Mecca last year could begin soon and possibly see government officials and Saudi Binladin Group executives in court.
2 min read
12 July, 2016
Saudi's crane crush was the first of two major disaster's in last year's Hajj [Anadolu]
A trial into the last year's Mecca crane collapse which killed 111 pilgrims just days before the start of Hajj could begin soon, a Saudi newspaper said.

Those connected to the crane disaster stand trial could end up in court after al-Riyadh newspaper quoted unnamed officials saying the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Mecca handed over its findings to Mecca's criminal court for judicial review.

It's not known how many people will be prosecuted, but government officials - as well as executives and engineers from the Saudi Binladin Group operating the crane - might be indicted.

The crane collapsed after strong winds swept up in Mecca on 11 September, crashing through the roof of the Grand Mosque that houses the cube-shaped Kaaba.

Slabs of concrete fell down on the packed pray hall, crushing worshippers.

King Salman blamed in part the construction giant, saying the crane's arm should not have been left up when it was not in use. Several company executives were also banned from traveling abroad.

The king ordered 1 million riyals ($267,000) be paid to the relatives of those killed, and the same amount to those permanently injured. Those with lesser injuries were to receive half that amount.

A crush in Mecca two weeks later killed at least 2,400 pilgrims, the deadliest year of the Hajj, which regularly sees deaths from crowd surges which many put down to poor coordiniation from officials.