A huge construction crane buffeted by strong winds collapsed and crashed onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Friday, killing as many as 107 worshipers only days before the start of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Saudi Arabia Civil Defense reports.
The Civil Defense said on Twitter that as many as 238 people had been injured.
Photos sent by Twitter from the scene show numerous blood-covered bodies strewn on a marble floor under the arm of a large crane.
Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Mansouri, spokesman for the Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet Mosque, blamed the accident on a "strong sandstorm, winds and torrential rains," the official Saudi Press Agency reports.
Before the crane accident, the Civil Defense was warning of thunderstorms, heavy rain and wind in the area. The Saudi Civil Defense said search and rescue teams and medical workers from the Saudi Red Crescent were quickly sent to the scene.
The accident occurred as the kingdom prepared to welcome 3 million people to the Muslim holy city for the annual pilgrimage that begins Sept. 21.
Reports of the accident were also carried by Al Arabiya and other Middle East news sites. The Khaleej Times says there are "many casualties."
Full report here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/11/many-deaths-reported-crane-collapse-meccas-grand-mosque/72069206/