Tragedy In The Holy City Of Mecca Leaves 107 Dead With 6 Malaysians Declared Missing

A heavy sandstorm on Friday evening led to a crane collapsing on the Grand Mosque.

Cover image via CNN

Two missing Malaysian Haj pilgrims confirmed dead

Image via The Star Online

The bodies of the two victims - Shahidan Saad, 52, from Kodiang, Kedah, and Abdul Habib Lahman, 68, from Sik, also in Kedah, were identified by their respective family members at the Muaissem mortuary in Mina.

This brings to seven the number of Malaysian Haj pilgrims killed in the tragedy.

14 SEPT: Mecca crane disaster leaves 5 Malaysians dead with 2 more missing

Three victims from the Mecca crane tragedy that was identified on Sunday, 13 September.

Image via New Straits Times Online

Zainun Taha, 69, fifth Malaysian victim from the Mecca crane collapse

Image via New Straits Times Online

On Saturday, Rusiah Suar, 56, from Sungkai, Perak, was identified by Tabung Haji officials from photographs of 108 victims released by Saudi authorities.

The remains of Siti Nuroshlizan Zolkifli, 37, from Tanah Merah, Kelantan, Rohana Ismail, 54 from Kuala Krai Kelantan and Munah Jusoh, 73 from Cherang Ruku, Kelantan were identified on Sunday.

Abdul Muluk Ishak, 71, from Pantai Remis, Perak, was found unharmed on Sunday.

The other two missing are Abdul Habib Lahman, 68, from Sik, Kedah and Shahidan Saad, 53, from Kodiang, Kedah.

Meanwhile, the 10 Malaysian victims who were injured in the crane collapse have expressed their new-found determination to complete their Hajj pilgrimage

Noordin Wahab's family back in Marang, Terrenganu.

Image via New Straits Times/Rozainah Zakaria

Noordin Wahab, one of the ten Malaysians injured in the Mecca crane crash, is ever more determined to complete his haj pilgrimage.

"We were all relieved to learn that he was safe and sound. He is in stable health and is now ever more determined to complete his pilgrimage with my mother Munah Mamat," said Noordin's son, Arif Rashdan.

Noordin is one of two pilgrims from Terengganu who were hurt in the accident. The other is Faridah Mansor, 63, from Dungun who sustained a broken wrist. She has been warded at the An Noor Hospital.

12 SEPT: On 11 September, at around 10 pm Malaysian time, a mobile crawler crane collapsed onto the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, killing 107 people and leaving 238 injured, most of whom were pilgrims

The crane was one of a number around the Grand Mosque while construction work is carried out.

Image via The Daily Mail

The collapsed crane has caused a huge crater in the floor of the Great Mosque, which was undergoing an expansion.

Image via The Daily Mail

The Grand Mosque is usually at its most crowded on Fridays, the Muslim weekly day of prayer.

Image via The Daily Mail

The head of Saudi Arabia's civil defence said strong winds and heavy rains had caused the collapse. According to witnesses, the crane fell on the third floor above Al-Safa and Al-Marwah at 5:45 pm local time. The holy city of Mecca was preparing for the annual Hajj.

The collapse happened at 17:23 local time (14:23 GMT), said Director-General of the Saudi Civil Defence Authority, Lt Sulayman Bin-Abdullah al-Amr. It happened at a time when many worshippers were there for Friday prayers.

A picture captures the moment the fatal crane was struck by lightning prior to collapsing into the mosque.

Image via The Daily Mail

The toll for the dead and injured, tweeted by the Civil Defence Authority (in Arabic), continued to rise throughout the evening. Shortly before the crash, the city had been hit by unusually high levels of rainfall and winds of up to 83kph (50mph), Lt Amr said.

There have been strong sandstorms in the region over the past week.

Emergency workers were quickly on the scene of the tragic incident

Image via BBC
Image via The Daily Mail
Image via The Daily Mail

This video posted on Facebook, which could not be independently verified by SAYS, appears to show the strong winds at the Grand Mosque. It's not clear whether it after or before the crane collapsed.

Keadaan angin kencang di Masjidil Haram, Mekkah sebentar tadi...

Posted by Siakap Keli on Friday, September 11, 2015

Following the accident the governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled Al Faisal, has ordered an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile, Six Malaysian pilgrims who were at the Grand Mosque in Mecca during the crane collapse have been declared missing.

Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the six have been identified but cannot be traced.

"This morning at about 4am Saudi time (9am Malaysian time), it was said that the six made up of two men and four women have been identified but not found.

"They might still be somewhere in the mosque or any of the many small clinics set up around there. So we are considering all possibilities," he said during a press conference at the TH hotel in Kelana Jaya.

Pictures emerging on social media show the scale of casualties with bodies strewn across the mosque floor.

Image via The Daily Mail

In addition to that, 10 other Malaysians have been injured

The PM asked for the families to be patient and added that the government are doing their best to trace them.

"In addition to that, 10 other Malaysians have been injured in the incident. There are seven men and three women, all of them are in a stable condition," he said adding that there were 251 medical personnel on location.

Astro Awani published the list of 10 injured Malaysian pilgrims

Image via Astro AWANI

Both the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and India tweeted about the tragedy:

Images being circulated in the media showed what looked like numerous bodies and blood on the floor of the Grand Mosque. An investigation was being carried out to assess the damage and the "extent of the safety of these sites", the BBC reported.

Image via The Daily Mail

Over the year, there have been many serious incidents in the holy city of Mecca during the Hajj, causing the loss of thousands of lives

Last year, the kingdom reduced the numbers permitted to perform haj for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque.

Image via The Daily Mail

To prevent stampedes and accommodate more pilgrims each year during the Hajj season, Saudi authorities undertook a major construction project to expand the mosque compound.