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Fri 18 Sep 2015 02:21 PM

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Saudi Binladin Group sanctions won't hit current projects - Saudi official

Kingdom's royal court said SBG had been suspended from taking any new contracts, existing projects would be reviewed and board members and senior execs would be banned from travel.

Saudi Binladin Group sanctions won't hit current projects - Saudi official
Workers walk next to the crane that collapsed the day before at the Grand Mosque on September 12, 2015 in Saudi Arabias holy Muslim city of Mecca. This years Muslim Hajj pilgrimage will go ahead despite a crane collapse which killed more than 100 people at the Grand Mosque of Mecca, a Saudi official told AFP. (AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia will keep making payments to Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) for ongoing work and its review of the company's current jobs after last week's Mecca crane disaster is to ensure it meets safety standards, a senior Saudi official said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the kingdom's royal court said SBG had been suspended from taking any new contracts, that its existing projects would be reviewed by the Finance Ministry and that its board members and senior executives would be banned from travel.

An initial government investigation into Friday's incident, when a crane toppled into Mecca's Grand Mosque during a dust storm killing 107, found that Saudi Arabia's largest contractor had not secured it in accordance with its instruction manual.

The senior Saudi source said, via an intermediary known to Reuters, that the royal court's ruling does not affect current projects SBG is involved in and the review was to ensure all its projects adhered to safety rules and regulations.

SBG has traditionally been the government's favoured contractor for particularly large or sensitive projects, and has carried out most work on Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina to accommodate more pilgrims for decades.

Friday's disaster, which came days before the annual haj pilgrimage in the city, was embarrassing to the country's ruling Al Saud dynasty because it presents itself as the custodian of Islam's most sacred places

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