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Tue 13 Oct 2015 12:37 PM

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Crane that killed 111 pilgrims removed from Grand Mosque

Areas where the crane fell have been completely repaired

Crane that killed 111 pilgrims removed from Grand Mosque
(AFP/Getty Images)

Large sections of the crane that collapsed and killed 111 people and injured a further 285 at the Grand Mosque in Makkah have been removed according to local media.

The crane has been dismantled and moved to a location outside of the Grand Mosque area so as not to obstruct the movement of pilgrims and visitors, according to a report in Saudi Gazette. The concrete base of the crane, however, remains in place.

Areas where the crane fell in the Grand Mosque have been completely repaired, including the Masa, where pilgrims walk seven times between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah.

Strong winds and heavy rain were blamed for toppling the German-made Liebherr Group crawler crane.

Saudi Arabia’s Binladen Group, the contractor on the Grand Mosque expansion project and the firm responsible for the accident, was found to have failed to comply with national safety regulations while operating the crane. Investigators also found that the crane was “in a wrong position” when the high winds struck, as the main arm should have been lowered.

Families of the Makkah crane crash victims are to be awarded SR1 million ($266,000) each as compensation for the accident, under an order from King Salman, who said the payments would not prevent any possible private legal claims made by the injured and families of the deceased.

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