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Six Pakistanis death confirmed in Makkah crane accident

13 September, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: At least six 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 the Pakistani Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Manzoorul Haq, a team of Pakistani embassy personnel visited a mortuary in Makkah last night.

The team during its four-hour visit confirmed, through documentary evidence available and identification of bodies by relatives, that six of the deceased were Pakistani nationals, FO spokesman Qazi Khailullah said.

However, according to Saudi media reports, the number of those who died in the incident is 15.

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.

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.

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