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    AT LEAST 107 DIE IN MECCA CRANE COLLAPSE

    Storm and strong winds believed to have triggered disaster

    It has been reported by the BBC that at least 107 people died and more than 230 people were injured when a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca where preparations are underway for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.

    Shortly before the crash, the city had been hit by unusually high levels of rainfall and winds of up to 83kph (50mph).

    The specialist crane website Vertikal.net has commented:

    “Some of the fatalities and injuries were caused by subsequent panic and stampedes, rather than from a direct hit from the crane or falling masonary.

    Original reports said that the crane was a tower crane – one of 20 Luffing jib cranes that have been operating around the mosque since 2011 but as more information came through and the death toll rose it became clear that the crane was a large Liebherr lattice crawler crane rigged with a long main boom, derrick mast and a long luffing jib.

    The boom and jib were left at a high angle – almost vertical facing into the wind, with little or now (sic) attempt to stow or lower the jib for the storm. The jib may well have triggered the overturn if the wind caught it full on and pushed it over the back?”

     

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