Saudi Arabia suspends work of Mecca crane collapse firm

Construction by Bin Laden Group halted after collapse left more than 100 pilgrims dead at Islam's holiest site.

    Saudi Arabia has suspended the Saudi Bin Laden Group from taking on new projects, just days after a deadly crane collapse in Mecca. 

    Saudis probe deadly Mecca crane collapse

    A statement by the Saudi government on Tuesday said the company's operations had been stopped until a review of all their work had been completed.

    The Saudi Bin Laden group is one of the region's largest construction firms with contracts across the country. 

    Initial investigations by Saudi authorities suggested a "balance issue" in the crane and bad weather contributed to the tragedy that left at least 107 people dead and hundreds more injured at Islam's holiest site immediately prior to the start of the Hajj.

    Al Jazeera's Omar al-Saleh, reporting from Mecca, said the move was "very significant".

    "The Mecca incident brought everything up to the surface, you can sense there were issues beneath the table," Saleh said.

    "There is an indication that the construction firm misused the manufacturers instructions, an indication perhaps of negligence." 

    The Hajj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rush to complete rituals and return home.

    Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a crush in 2006.

    Saudi authorities have since spent vast sums to expand the main Hajj sites and improve Mecca's transport system, in an effort to prevent more disasters.


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