Mecca crane tragedy suspects to stand trial 'soon'

Mecca crane tragedy suspects to stand trial 'soon'
2 min read
14 July, 2016
Suspects involved in an accident that left more than 100 dead and 400 injured when a crane toppled over in Mecca last year will stand trial 'soon,' Saudi media reported.
Severe winds caused the large crane to collapse into the Grand Mosque [Anadolu]
Engineers and officials accused of being responsible for a deadly crane accident that killed more than 100 in Saudi Arabia's Mecca are to face trial, local media reported on Wednesday.

The suspects, who work for government agencies will stand trial "soon" according to the Arab News and Saudi Gazette dailies, after an eight-month investigation that has led to the criminal court.

No details were provided on the potential charges or the number of suspects involved.

The tragic September event occurred during ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca when severe winds forced a large crane to topple over, killing 108 and injuring 400 worshippers as construction ensued in the Grand Mosque.

Government sanctions were made against one of the world's biggest construction companies, the Saudi Binladin Group, that was conducting multi-billion-dollar expansion and renovation work in the mosque.

A government investigative committee which reported days after the incident found the company "in part responsible" and said the crane was in the wrong position.

But reports did not specify whether the company or any of its employees are among those awaiting trial. 

Days after the crane collapse, a second tragedy struck when more than 2,000 people died in a stampede near Mecca during the annual hajj – in contrast to Saudi reports that claimed a much lower death toll.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister who also chairs the Hajj committee, ordered a probe immediately after the stampede disaster but there has been no word on its findings.