Death Toll From Crane Crash at Mecca's Grand Mosque Surpasses 100

crane mosque mecca
Cranes line the outside of the Grand mosque, the holiest place in Islam, in Mecca in July 14. On Friday, at least 60 people were killed when one of the cranes collapsed according to Saudi Interior Ministry. Reuters/Ali Al Qarni

This article contains graphic images and video.

Updated | A crane crash at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, left as many as 107 people dead and 238 injured on Friday, according to the Saudi Civil Defense Directorate. Strong winds are believed to have caused the crash.

Rescue workers from the civil defense department and Saudi Red Crescent and Health Affairs are on the scene.

Because of hajj—Muslims' annual pilgrimage to Mecca that can bring as many as 3 million people to the holy city around this time of year—the mosque was particularly crowded on Friday. It is unknown how many people were inside at the time of the incident.

At 88.2 acres, the Grand Mosque, officially called the Masjid al-Haram, is the largest mosque in the world. It surrounds the Kaaba shrine, believed to be where Abraham and his son Ishmael raised a house millennia ago. Islamic belief mandates that Muslims circle the Kaaba seven times during Hajj, at least once in their lifetime. An expansion of the mosque is currently underway and scheduled for completion in 2020. The expansion is expected to allow space for 1.2 million pilgrims.

مباشرة مدير عام الدفاع المدني الفريق سليمان العمرو لحادث سقوط رافعة في الحرم المكي بـ #العاصمة_المقدسة.

— الدفاع المدني السعودي (@SaudiDCD) September 11, 2015

#BREAKING: Many casualties reported as crane falls on pilgrims in Haram Al-Sharif, #Makkah (

— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) September 11, 2015

عاجل ..

تباشر الآن فرق #العاصمة_المقدسة حادثة سقوط رافعة في الحرم المكي .#سقوط_رافعة_بالحرم_المكي


— أخبار السعودية (@SaudiNews50) September 11, 2015

Video emerging of deadly crane collapse at Masjid al Haram mosque in Mecca

— Mashable News (@MashableNews) September 11, 2015

جانب من تواجد فرق الدفاع المدني في الحرم المكي.

— الدفاع المدني السعودي (@SaudiDCD) September 11, 2015

Amateur footage appears to capture moment a crane collapses on the Grand Mosque, killing 87

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) September 11, 2015

جانب من مباشرة الفرق لحادثة سقوط الرافعة في الحرم المكي.

— الدفاع المدني السعودي (@SaudiDCD) September 11, 2015

Additional reporting by Max Kutner.