Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Saudi Binladin get clean chit in deadly Makkah crane crash

A Saudi Arabian court has cleared the Binladin Group of responsibility for the 2015 collapse of a crane in Makkah which killed 100 people, reported AFP citing the Saudi press agency.

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 Makkah, just days before the annual Hajj pilgrimage, said the report.

The Binladin Group’s defence 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 Penal Court in Makkah which heard the case also acquitted all 13 people who were charged with negligence. The court declared thaat they were not criminally responsible for the incident, reported the Saudi Gazette.

However, senior legal experts said the verdict can still be appealed.

The Binladin Group was hit by a string of Saudi-issued sanctions after the crash, stated the report.

The construction firm had been working for years on a multi-billion-dollar 4.3-million-sq-ft enlargement of the Grand Mosque to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims to the site, it added.

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