(FILES) - A file picture taken on July 16, 2015 from the Abraj al-Bait Towers shows Muslim worshipers praying at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. AFP PHOTO / STR
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Saudi authorities on Saturday were investigating a construction crane collapse that killed at least 107 people during a storm at Mecca's Grand Mosque, days before the annual hajj pilgrimage.Panic broke out as the massive crane came crashing down on the mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites, as worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have already arrived in Mecca for the hajj, one of the world's largest religious festivals which last year drew two million worshippers. The Kaaba is a massive cube-shaped structure at the center of the mosque towards which Muslims worldwide pray.Irfan al-Alawi, co-founder of the Mecca-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, compared the carnage to that caused by a bomb.He suggested authorities were negligent by having a series of cranes overlooking the mosque. SPA said that almost 800,000 pilgrims had arrived by Friday for the hajj, which all able-bodied Muslims are expected to perform if they have the means to do so.
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