Mecca crane collapse suspects ‘to face trial’

Saudi court to decide hearing date for accused over incident at Grand Mosque that caused 107 deaths – report

Several suspects face trial in Saudi Arabia over the crane accident that killed 107 people in Mecca last September, according to reports.

Al-Riyadh newspaper said the authorities had completed an eight-month investigation into the case and had questioned several suspects before charging the accused, who include two officials working for two government bodies in Mecca, as well as several engineers.

It was not however immediately clear how many people had been charged or what the charges were.

“The court is in the process of deciding the [date of the] first hearing in [the] coming days after the judge studies the case,” Al-Riyadh said, according to a Reuters report.

The incident happened in September 2015, less than two weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage, when a huge crane being used in the expansion work of the Mecca Grand Mosque fell on worshippers.

The Saudi government quickly suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, the main contractor on the mosque expansion, from seeking new government contracts and placed travel bans on its senior executives. The penalties on it were later lifted.

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