JEDDAH (Arrahmah.com) – The kin of those who died as well as those who suffered permanent disability in the crane crash tragedy at the Grand Mosque will get SR1 million each, according to orders issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Tuesday.
Those who suffered injuries in the crash will get SR500,000 each. The King also banned senior officials of Saudi Binladin Group, the Grand Mosque expansion project contractor, from leaving the Kingdom pending the completion of legal action against the company after finding that it was partly responsible for the mishap that killed 111 pilgrims and injured 331, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Salman also ordered that two relatives of the dead foreign pilgrims will be the King’s guests for the Haj of 2016.
Those pilgrims who are unable to perform Haj due to their injury will be brought to perform Haj next year as the King’s guests.
As for those pilgrims who are supposed to remain at hospitals for some more time, their relatives will be granted special visit visas to take care of them at hospitals during the remaining period of the Haj season until they return home.
In view of the responsibility of the group and its negligence, the King ordered the imposition of a travel ban on the board of directors of the group including Bakr Bin Muhammad Binladin and its senior executive officials and all those who are associated with the project until completion of investigations and issuance of verdict by the court.
The royal directive also suspended the group from taking part in any bids or undertaking any future projects until the completion of legal procedures.
The King was briefed on the report of the committee that carried out probe into the accident. The report found there was no criminal intent in the accident.
However, there had been violation of safety rules in the operation of the crane. The committee came to the conclusion that strong winds combined with violation of safety standards regarding the positioning of the crane was the main cause of the tragedy.
“Strong winds caused the crash while the crane was in a wrong position. The position of the crane was in violation of the operational instructions from the manufacturer,” the report pointed out.
According to the operational instructions, the main working arm of the crane should have been lowered while it was not in use or during high winds.
There was also failure in following safety regulations while operating the crane. Those officials in charge of safety of the crane did not abide by the instructions cited in the operational manual.
The officials also failed to follow the weather forecast from the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME).
Moreover, they also ignored several messages from the concerned agencies to review the condition of the cranes, especially the crane involved in the accident.
The committee recommended that Saudi Binladin Group shall own partial responsibility of the accident. It also called for reviewing the contract with the project’s consultancy firm Kanzas Company, in addition to reviewing the condition of all the cranes at the project site.
King Salman issued orders to refer the findings of the investigation to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution to complete the investigation procedures with the Binladin Group and prepare indictment before submitting it to the court.
The King entrusted the Finance Ministry and other concerned agencies to review urgently all government projects that Bin Laden group and others are currently implementing to ascertain whether they are abiding by safety regulations and take appropriate measures in this regard.
The group had been working for four years on the largest ever expansion in the history of the Grand Mosque. The project will expand the area of the mosque by 400,000 square meters, allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once. (saudigazette/arrahmah.com)