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11 Pakistanis confirmed dead in Makkah crane crash

14 September, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: At least 11 Pakistanis have been confirmed dead in the crane accident in Makkah’s Grand Mosque on Friday, which had resulted in the deaths of at least 107 pilgrims, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Sunday.

Headed by Pakistani Ambassador to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Manzoorul Haq, a team of Pakistani embassy personnel visited a mortuary in Makkah last night. During its four-hour visit the team confirmed through documentary evidence available and identification of bodies by relatives, that 11 of the deceased were Pakistani nationals, FO spokesman Qazi Khailullah said. However, according to Saudi media reports, 15 Pakistanis died in the incident. At least 47 Pakistanis were injured in the crane accident, earlier reports had said.

The FO spokesman had said that out of the 47 injured, 26 Pakistanis were still admitted in three hospitals near Makkah, while others were discharged after necessary medical treatment. None of the Pakistanis in hospitals were said to be in serious condition, he said. Pakistanis wishing to know about the condition of their loved ones or any other information regarding the incident can contact Pakistan’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia on these numbers: 00966580734001 or 00966504517632. Haj will proceed despite the accident, Saudi authorities said on Saturday as crowds returned to pray a day after the tragedy.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Manzoorul Haq on Sunday confirmed the martyrdom of 11 Pakistani’s in a crane accident that occurred in the holy site of Haram Sharif. He also confirmed that 36 Pakistanis have been injured in the accident. Pakistan’s Ambassador has stated that Saudi officials are carrying out a probe into the incident. Manzoorul Haq stated that the families of the victims are in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan s Ambassador also stated that the accident was a heart wrenching incident.

At least 107 people died and 238 others were injured when a massive construction crane crashed into Makkah’s Grand Mosque during stormy weather Friday, Saudi authorities said, less than a fortnight before the annual Haj pilgrimage starts. According to the Saudi civil defence authority around 238 people were injured in the incident and they were being treated in nearby hospitals. The Saudi Press Agency said that almost 800,000 pilgrims had arrived by Friday for the Haj, which all able-bodied Muslims are expected to perform if they have the means to do so. Last year, just over two million people took part.

A massive project is currently underway to expand the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres, allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people simultaneously. The mosque is surrounded by a number of cranes. Though marred in the past by deadly incidents including floods, stampedes and fires, the Haj has become nearly incident-free in recent years because of multi-billion dollar projects. These have included transport networks and other infrastructure to facilitate movement of the huge numbers of people who perform Haj. This year’s Haj will go ahead despite the crane collapse, a Saudi Arabian official said. “It definitely will not affect the Haj this season and the affected part will probably be fixed in a few days,” said the official, who declined to be named. “Haj will go on, for sure.” An investigation has begun following the accident on Friday in the holy city.

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