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Dhaka Tribune

40 Bangladeshis injured in Mecca crane collapse

Update : 12 Sep 2015, 04:12 AM

At least 40 Bangladeshi nationals have sustained injuries when a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam in a Facebook post confirmed the news on Friday night, immediately after the incident that claimed the lives of some 107 people and injured over 200 others.

Of the injured, the condition of one Chand Miah Chowkider is stated to be critical, wrote the junior minister. "Three people are in the ICU. All are being treated at Zayed hospital. Our Medical team is there."

The post further reads: "All are out of danger, Alhamdulillah. Hospital started releasing our people after fast aid treatment. Mostly injuries are due to panic and stampede.

"Our First Secretary is in hospital with Hajj officials to look after injured countrymen."

Read More: Crane collapse kills 107 at Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque

The huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque - the largest in the world - that was filled with worshippers at the time.

The head of Saudi Arabia's civil defence told BBC strong winds and heavy rains had caused the collapse. The crane had collapsed around 5:45pm local time.

The Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has commissioned a committee to investigate the cause of the deadly collapse.

Pictures circulating on social media showed bloodied bodies strewn across a courtyard where the top part of the crane, which appeared to have collapse or snapped, had crashed into it.

Initiated in 2011, a massive project is currently underway to increase the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres, allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once, reports AFP. The mosque is surrounded by a number of cranes.

The tragedy comes ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage set to begin on September 21. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have already gathered in Mecca from all over the world for the hajj.

The Grand Mosque, or Sacred Mosque, surrounds the Kaaba – the most sacred site in Islam. It is usually at its most crowded on Fridays.

Earlier, around 350 pilgrims died in a stampede in 2006. A building collapse the same year killed 76. Another stampede killed more than 200 in 2004.

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