At least 107 people were killed and 230 were wounded Friday when a crane collapsed in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia's civil defense authority said.
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Pilgrims and first responders gather at the site of a crane collapse that killed dozens inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca. (Image: AP)[/caption]
The accident happened as pilgrims from around the world converged on the city, Islam's holiest site, for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place this month.
The civil defense authority announced the collapse and a series of rising casualty numbers on its official Twitter account.
Videos and photos posted by social media users showed a grisly scene, with police and onlookers attending to multiple bloodied bodies on the polished mosque floors.
Pan-satellite Al-Jazeera Television broadcast footage from inside the mosque compound said to be from the aftermath of the accident, showing the floor strewn with rubble and what appear to be pools of blood.
Several Indians were reportedly injured in the incident.
Another video, on a Twitter posting, captured the apparent moment of the crane's collapse during a heavy rainstorm, with a loud boom, screams and confusion.
Mecca is Islam's holiest site. Pilgrims from around the world have been converging on the city and the mosque for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place this month.
Witnesses say that a crane fell on the third floor of the Grand Mosque around 5.45pm, Al Jazeera reported, adding that the mosque was packed, even though the incident happened shortly before the 6.30pm Friday prayer.
(With Inputs From AP)