Death toll rises in Mecca crane collapse

107 people are confirmed dead in a crane collapse in the holly city of Mecca and a further 200 injured the Grand Mosque known as the Masjid al-Haram when it was full of worshipers.

Two Indians and at least 11 Pakistani pilgrims have also died in the incident which happened on friday.

The Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba.

Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that “after opening of mortuary” on Sunday evening “officials working with relatives have confirmed that 9 more Indians have unfortunately died”. and that the “mission is extending all possible assistance to the families of the 11 deceased pilgrims to complete formalities”.

At least 107 people were killed and 230 injured in the incident on Friday. It is unclear how many people were hurt by the collapse or the stampede that followed it.

The victims were also said to include worshippers from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Egypt.

Officials say strong winds and heavy rains caused the crane to fall.

Correspondents say there had previously been concerns about safety on Saudi construction sites.

Up to two million people are expected to arrive in Mecca for the Hajj from all over the world later this month.

The original parts of the Grand Mosque date back 1,400 years. Consisting of a large square surrounded by covered prayer areas, the building has since been extensively modernised, notably from the mid-20th Century.

Saudi authorities began a major expansion of the site last year to increase the area of the mosque by 400,000 sq m (4.3m sq ft), to allow it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

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