5 Iranian pilgrims killed in Mecca crane collapse
The number of Iranian pilgrims killed in a tower crane incident in the Saudi holy city of Mecca has risen to five, an official with the Iranian Red Crescent Society says.
In addition to the Iranian pilgrim who was announced dead on the day of the crane collapse, the bodies of four more Iranian pilgrims were identified at the morgue Saturday night, Ali Mar’ashi said on Sunday.
Earlier reports confirmed that one Iranian pilgrim lost his life and more than 30 others suffered injuries in the deadly incident on September 11.
At least 107 people have been killed in the incident, which happened after a tower crane was toppled by strong winds and storm in the city, crashing into the Grand Mosque ahead of the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage later this month.
Mar’ashi added that seven Iranian pilgrims remain missing following the incident.
The Saudi Civil Defense authority confirmed on its official Twitter account that at least 240 people were injured in the disaster as of early Saturday.
Saudi Arabia has been under fire for the mass demolition of hundreds of historic Islamic sites and construction of towers overlooking the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba. The kingdom’s officials claim the destruction is part of a multi-billion-dollar project to expand the Grand Mosque, also called Masjid al-Haram, in an attempt to host more pilgrims.