Saudi Binladin Group 'responsible in part' for crane collapse

Scene of crane collapse in Mecca. 15 Sept 2015Image source, AP
Image caption,
A storm had whipped up high winds at the time of the collapse

Saudi authorities have said the giant Saudi Binladin Group was "in part" responsible for Friday's deadly crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

An investigative commission ruled that the company had not "respected the norms of safety", the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

The crane fell during a storm, killing 107 people and injuring nearly 400.

The construction firm is owned by the family of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Executives at the company have been forbidden to leave the country until the investigation is complete, SPA said. The firm will also be excluded from any new public contracts during the same time.

The huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque as it was filled with worshippers, less than two weeks before the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The mosque, known as the Masjid al-Haram, is the largest in the world and surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba.

The Saudi Binladen Group has been working for four years on an enlargement of the Grand Mosque to accommodate growing numbers of pilgrims.

The company was founded by Osama Bin Laden's father more than 80 years ago and is run by the late al-Qaeda leader's brother, Bakr.

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