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3 more Iranians confirmed dead in Saudi crane massacre

15 September 2015 22:31



Three more Iranian pilgrims have been confirmed dead in last Friday’s deadly tower crane incident in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, bringing the total number of Iranians killed in the incident to 11.

Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said on Tuesday that the trio, all of them women, had been missing since the incident happened on Friday, but their bodies have now been identified by their families.

Three other Iranian pilgrims are still under treatment in Mecca hospitals but are in good health conditions, it added.

At least 107 people have been killed in the deadly incident, which happened after a tower crane was toppled by strong winds and storm in Mecca on September 11, crashing into the Grand Mosque ahead of the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage later this month.

It has been confirmed that 32 Iranian pilgrims suffered injuries in the incident.

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.

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on September 12, 2015 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (seated, C-R) listening to Mecca Governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal (seated, C-L) during a tour of the site where a crane fell inside the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia. (AFP Photo)


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday suspended the construction giant Saudi Binladin Group over the deadly collapse of the tower crane.

According to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), an investigative commission had found that the company “was in part responsible” for Friday’s tragedy. The construction firm is owned by the family of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The firm had not “respected the norms of safety” at the site, the agency reported.

The company’s executives have been barred from leaving the kingdom and will be prevented from new public projects pending the finalization of legal action against the company, SPA said.

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