Saudi court clears Binladin Group in deadly crane crash

RIYADH: A Saudi Arabian court has cleared the Binladin Group of responsibility for the 2015 collapse of a crane in Mecca which killed 100 people, the Saudi press reported yesterday.

The Saudi-based Binladin construction firm belongs to the family of the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. At least 107 people were killed and some 400 injured on September 11, 2015, when the crane toppled over near the Grand Mosque in holy Makkah, just days before the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The Binladin Group’s defense team claimed the group could not have predicted the severe thunderstorm and violent winds that caused the crane to fall, according to the Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat daily.

The verdict can still be appealed. The Binladin Group was hit by a string of Saudi-issued sanctions after the crash. The construction firm had been working for years on a multi-billion-dollar 400,000-square-metre (4.3-million-square-feet) enlargement of the Grand Mosque to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims to the site. – AFP

This article was published on 02/10/2017