Liebherr Crawler Crane Collapse at Mecca Kills Over Hundreds

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crawler crane falling backwards into the mecca mosque
Crawler Crane falling backwards and crushing the roof into the Mosque. Image source from flipboard.


More than 11 years on September 11, America’s landmark buildings were attacked by terrorist, causing the collapse of the two 110-storey towers of World Trade Center complex and damage of the Pentagon. On the same day 11 years later, another unfortunate accident has happened in the other part of the world – the collapse of a giant crawler crane in Mecca, killing over hundreds.

While the city is busily preparing for the Hajj pilgrimage for their holy event, less than two weeks before the Islam’s annual hajj pilgrimage, a 1,350 ton crawler crane, Liebherr LR11350 has toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killing at least 118 people (till date) and injuring more than 300 people.

Strong Winds From Powerful Storm Cause Accident

crawler crane boom inside of the mecca mosque
Crawler crane boom inside the Mosque after impact collapsed
the roof. Image source from Straits Times.

Saudi Civil Defence authority has confirmed that the crawler crane collapsed was due to the strong winds created by a powerful storm. The incident has happened about 5.20pm in the late afternoon and also one of the busiest time of the week, with the area densely populated with people. The crawler crane feel into the east side of the mosque, with its lattice boom crashing through the roof. Click here to see footages of the collapse inside of the mosque.

Strong sand storms was in the region the preceding week and authority mentioned during the unfortunate disaster, Mecca was experiencing medium to heavy rains. There was also reports that wind speed was more than 40 km/h (25 mph).

Promised Investigation and Banning of Saudi Bin Laden Group

Mecca governor Khaled al-Faisal listening to aides of the Mosque.
Mecca governor Khaled al-Faisal
listening to aides of the Mosque.
Image source from ChannelNewsAsia

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca, ordered an immediate investigation into the accident while search and rescue teams and medical workers from the Saudi Red Crescent were sent to site in search of casualties and those that might be trapped under the debris. Two days later, on September 13, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited the site and vowed investigation will be carried out and make known to the public.

Four days after the accident, a statement was made by Saudi official to suspend the construction giant Saudi Binladin Group of its company’s operations until review of all their projects and work has been completed.

The Saudi Binladin Group was the industrial conglomerate founded by the father of Osama bin Laden and the company is carrying out a 21 billion US dollars expansion of the Grand Mosque.

For more photos and news of the Mecca crane accident, you can follow our specially created on Mecca Crane Accident on Pinterest.