Crane collapse: Saudi Binladin Group barred from new projects

Construction giant’s executives not allowed to travel after Mecca tragedy in which at least 107 died

PHOTO: Strong winds were blamed for the crane coming crashing to the ground at the Grand Mosque. Credit: Twitter

Executives at construction giant Saudi Binladin Group have been issued a travel ban after Friday’s crane collapse in Mecca in which at least 107 people died, state news agency SPA reported.

The privately owned group has also been barred from taking on new projects in Saudi Arabia amid an ongoing investigation, according to media reports.

An official report into the incident said there was no criminal suspicion, with strong winds blamed for the crane coming crashing to the ground at the Grand Mosque. A statement by SPA added that the crane was in the wrong position at the time.

Saudi Binladin Group faces an investigation following the collapse. A travel ban has been issued on “all members of the board of directors of Bin Laden Group, Eng. Bakr bin Mohammed bin Laden, senior executives in the Group and others connected with the project”, SPA said.

The ban extends until after the outcome of the investigation, it added.

King Salman issued an order to pay compensation to the families of the deceased as well as the injured. The family of those killed, and those left permanently injured, will each receive SR1 million ($267,000). People suffering injuries will receive SR500,000. Claimants will also be entitled to pursue private damages, SPA said.

At least 230 people are said to have been injured in the crane collapse, including Iranian, Turkish, Afghan, Egyptian and Pakistani nationals.

The annual hajj pilgrimage is due to take place later this month, with millions of Muslims from around the world coming to Mecca, which is home to the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site. Officials have said hajj will go ahead this year despite the crane collapse tragedy.

Last year, Saudi Arabian authorities reduced the number of pilgrims allowed to perform hajj amid ongoing construction work taking place to enlarge the Grand Mosque.

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