SAUDI KING ORDERS SR1 MILLION COMPENSATION TO CRASH VICTIMS

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Pilgrims walk past the site of a crane collapse that killed over a hundred Friday at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Tuesday. Construction giant Saudi Binladen Group has been blamed partially for the collapse last week of the crane. AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy
Pilgrims walk past the site of a crane collapse that killed over a hundred Friday at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Tuesday. Construction giant Saudi Binladen Group has been blamed partially for the collapse last week of the crane. AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy

Agencies

JEDDAH — Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday ordered that the families of those killed – or who had been permanently injured – in Friday’s crane collapse at a Makkah mosque each be paid 1 million Saudi riyals (roughly $267,000) in compensation.  According to a royal decree issued by the King, 500,000 riyals (roughly $133,500) will be paid out to those who suffered less serious injuries.

A total of 110 people were killed – and at least 235 injured – when a massive crane collapsed in Makkah’s Grand Mosque on Friday.

According to Arab News, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also ordered that top officials of the Bin Laden Group be banned from traveling outside the kingdom after an investigation pinned the blame partially on the construction company for Friday’s deadly crane crash in Makkah.

A royal court announcement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the King is reviewing the report of the Accident Investigation Committee, which suggested negligence on the part of the Bin Laden Group, but concluded that it found an “absence of criminal suspicion.”

The report said “the main reason for the accident is the strong winds while the crane was in a wrong position.”
Some 111 people were killed and 331 injured when the giant crane being used in the expansion project at the Grand Mosque toppled and crashed into a portion of the mataf (circumambulation area) around the holy Kaaba on Sept. 11.

Pending completion of the investigation, all members of the Board of Directors of Bin Laden Group, as well as Bakr bin Mohammed bin Laden and senior executives in the group and others connected with the project are banned from leaving the kingdom, said the royal court order.

King Salman ordered the payment of the following to the families of the victims:
1. SR1,000,000 to the family of each person killed in this accident;
2. SR1,000,000 to each injured whose injury resulted in permanent disability;
3. SR500,000 to each of the other injured.

According to SPA, such payment would not deprive the families of the deceased as well as the injured from the right to claim for private right before the competent judicial authorities.

The King also issued directives to host two family members of the deceased as the king’s guests to perform Haj next year.

“The injured who cannot perform Haj this year can perform Haj next year as the king’s guests. The families of the injured who stay in hospitals for treatment shall be granted visit visas to take care of the injured during the remaining period of Hajj and return back to their country,” the royal court said.
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