PM pledges aid for Malaysian pilgrims injured in Mecca crane collapse

Construction cranes surround the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in this January 6, 2013 file photo as Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray during Umrah. — Reuters pic
Construction cranes surround the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in this January 6, 2013 file photo as Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray during Umrah. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — The government is to provide immediate aid to the Malaysian pilgrims who were injured after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in Mecca yesterday, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Malaysian officials in the holy city said six Malaysian pilgrims were injured in the incident which reportedly claimed the lives of 87 worshippers at about 5 pm (10 pm in Malaysia).

At least 184 more people were injured in the incident, reports said.  “I understand that several Malaysian pilgrims were injured. Aid will be provided as fast as possible,” Najib posted on his Twitter account early Saturday.  The tragedy occurred ahead of the annual Haj pilgrimage which is due later this month. Millions of Muslims from around the world will converge on the holy city between Sept 21 and 26.

The crane, believed to be one of several being used in the expansion project of the Grand Mosque, collapsed during heavy rain and when Muslims were performing the Asar prayers.

Bernama journalist Mohd Shukri Ishak, who is covering the Haj pilgrimage under a Tabung Haji programme, said the heavy rain yesterday experienced in Mecca was the fourth in a period of one month. — Bernama

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