Saudi court clears Binladin group in deadly 2015 Mecca crane crash

Construction cranes are seen in Saudi Arabia’s holy Muslim city of Mecca on September 12, 2015, a day after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque.

:: A Saudi 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 on Monday.

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 Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, 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 Muslim pilgrims to the site.

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