Another disaster has struck pilgrims in Makkah. This time a construction crane collapsed inside the Masjid al Haram as pilgrims were busy performing the tawwaf. At least 107 pilgrims were killed and another 238 injured. The floor of the Haram was soiled with blood in the most holy of Islam's places.
Friday September 11, 2015, 23:27 DST
At least 107 pilgrims were killed and an estimated 238 injured in Masjid al Haram in Makkah when a construction crane collapsed early today (September 11). The Haram was packed with pilgrims as they performed the tawwaf (circumambulation) of the Ka‘aba when the crane came crashing on them. There were strong winds and rain. The Saudi meteorological department had predicted strong winds. There were no precautionary measures taken by the Saudis.
In their mad scramble to built massive new structures totally disregarding the historical significance of Islam’s heritage sites, the Saudis have brought in foreign companies with massive construction equipment. Cranes are part of this equipment that resulted in such a massive tragedy. The floor of the Haram was splattered with blood. The Saudis would brush it aside as an act of God. There will not even be a whisper that they might have something to do with the tragedy. That such monstrous structures were erected inside the Haram at a time when millions of pilgrims from all over the world are converging on Makkah to perform Hajj points to the Saudis disregard for the safety and well-being of the pilgrims.
This is not the first time that such a tragedy has occurred. In 2005, there was a stampede in a tunnel in which more than 350 pilgrims suffocated. On other occasions, Saudi police have blocked roads for pilgrims because some Saudi royal’s car and entourage was passing. It has resulted in avoidable casualties.
In 2001, more than 100 pilgrims were killed when a ramp leading to the stoning to the devil became overcrowded with one set of pilgrims climbing up and another set coming down.
The Saudi police just stood by as the chaos ensued resulting in more than 100 deaths, most of them Pakistani women pilgrims. Under Saudi occupation, Hajj has become a nightmarish experience for most pilgrims. Unless this corrupt and incompetent family is removed from control of the Haramayn, the pilgrims will continue to suffer such tragedies.