Heavy rains and a dust storm caused a crane to topple Friday evening (Sat morning NZT) at one of Islam‘s most important mosques — Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque — killing at least 87 people and injuring 201 others, Saudi Arabia’s civil defense authorities said a short time ago.
The Masjid al-Haram surrounds Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba — a shrine that worshipers circle during the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The mosque was crowded, but nothing like the crowds expected in 10 days, when the pilgrimage begins. Two million people are expected.
A strong thunderstorm popped up over Mecca about 4 p.m. local time Friday (9 a.m. ET), bringing gusty winds which shifted direction and caused the local temperature to drop from 42 to 25 degrees Celsius (107.6 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.), CNN meteorologists reported.
View the full CNN story here, this is a developing/ongoing news story…