A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, September 11, 2015

Crane Collapse in Mecca 10 Days Before Hajj

The collapse of a construction crane a the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in Mecca just 10 days before this year's hajj is likely to spur concerns about pilgrim safety, given the huge construction efforts underway in and around the Mosque. At least 87 dead are reporting and the number may grow.

The massive construction projects have been controversial both within and outside of the Kingdom, involving as they do massive expansion and modernization of the holy sites as well as ambitious projects such as the world's largest hotel, which will dominate he skyline of the Holy City.

Pilgrim safety has frequently been an issue in the past given the huge crowds assembled. It is unclear how much damage was done to the structure of the Mosque itself.

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