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Iranian Deputy FM: Saudi Government Responsible for Crane Crash in Mecca

18 September 2015 19:20


Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Friday rapped the Saudi administration’s negligence in providing security for the Hajj pilgrims and blamed the Saudi officials for the last Friday’s deadly crane collapse in Mecca.
Offering his condolences to the families of victims, he said that the bodies of seven of the dead Iranian pilgrims are to be transferred to the country later on Friday.

He said Iran will continue to send pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) only if the safety and security of Iranian pilgrims are guaranteed and the two Saudi officers who abused two Iranian pilgrims in the city of Jeddah earlier this year are brought to justice.

The collapse of a crane in Al-Masjid al-Haram (The Holy Mosque) in Mecca last week caused the death of more than 100 Hajj pilgrims among them some Iranians.

Iran’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi announced on Monday evening that Dr. Ahmad Hatami, a science board member of Iran Space Research Center, was among the eight Iranian pilgrims who died in the incident.

The minister expressed deep sorrow over Hatami’s death and extended his most heartfelt condolences to his family and to the Iranian IT and space technology community.

According to reports, 32 Iranians were injured in the incident.

On the same day, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani blamed the Saudi administration’ negligence as the main cause of the Friday deadly crane collapse in Mecca.

“The Saudi government should have made the necessary preparations to safeguard the lives of the pilgrims,” Larijani said in a message of condolence to the bereaved families of the victims.

He regretted that the Hajj rituals coincided with this sad incident, and asked Saudi officials to immediately probe into the case.

The crane which crashed through the ceiling of the Grand Mosque of Mecca operated for a company owned by Saudi Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Arab media disclosed on Saturday.

Meantime, other media sources claimed that the crane belongs to a German crane company operated by the Bin Laden family’s consortium, who are heading the expansion of the Holy Mosque.

Storms were lashing the Saudi city of Mecca when strong winds brought down the crane that was part of construction works.

Tons of rubble and debris crashed to the ground on top of scores of people gathering in the mosque for 6:30 prayers when a section of the crane crashed through the roof.

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