As Saudi Arabia promised to open investigation on Saturday after the death of at least 107 pilgrims in the crash of a huge crane in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, world leaders expressed condolences over the incident.
“We offer our thoughts and condolences to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday, September 12.
“We’ve seen the press reports … about the crane accident in Makkah.
“We know Saudi authorities are on the scene, quickly and efficiently trying to deal with the situation. But again, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who were injured and their loved ones,” Kirby said.
Scores of Muslim pilgrims died and dozens were injured when a crane collapsed inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah amid strong winds and heavy rains on Friday evening.
According to latest reports, the Civil Defense said that as many as 107 died and 238 people had been injured.
That came about an hour after it tweeted that Makkah was “witnessing medium to heavy rains,” with some pictures circulating on social media showing lightning.
Photos sent by Twitter from the scene show numerous blood-covered bodies strewn on a marble floor under the arm of a large crane.
The accident occurred as the kingdom prepared to welcome 3 million people to the Muslim holy city for the annual pilgrimage that begins September 21.
British Prime Minister David Cameron offered his “thoughts and prayers” to the families of those killed.
“My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones at #mecca today,” he posted on Twitter.
The Foreign Office said it was working with the Saudi authorities as they attempt to identify the victims, whose nationalities remain unknown.
“I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the accident in Makkah involving a large number of fatalities amongst those attending the Hajj,” Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said.
“My thoughts are with the families of those affected.”
Other world figures offer condolences to Saudi including, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Amin Madani.
Madani expressed sincere condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud over the crane crash at the Holy Mosque in Makkah, resulted in victims.
He prayed to Allah Almighty to bestow His mercy upon the souls of the deceased and accept them as martyrs in Paradise, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Similar prayers were offered by Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, who expressed his condolences.
Al-Tayeb also expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of martyrs, praying to Allah Almighty to bestow His mercy upon their souls.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby has expressed his condolences to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the crane crash at the Holy Mosque in Makkah, resulted in victims.
He also expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The hajj is one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.
The complex of Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah covers 88.2 acres, which includes outdoor and indoor prayer spaces. It’s open 24 hours a day.
Last year, the number of people permitted to perform the hajj was lowered for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque.