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MECCA CRANE MISHAP: Saudi Arabia to Give Families of Nigerian Victims N70m Each



Families of the six Nigerian pilgrims who died in the last Friday’s crane collapse in Saudi Arabia’s grand Mosque will get N70 million each.

They will also be entitled to two Hajj slots each next year to be fully paid for by the Saudi Arabia government.

The custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday ordered that top officials of the Saudi Binladin Group be banned from traveling outside the kingdom after the probe of the incident partially blamed the construction company for the crane crash.

The Saudi Arabia authority announced that families of each of the 111 people who died in the accident will be paid a compensation of one million Saudi Riyals.

One Saudi Riyal is the equivalent to N70.

Saudi local newspaper, Arab News, reported that ‘King Salman ordered the payment of the following to the families of the victims: SR1,000,000 to the family of each person killed in this accident; SR1,000,000 to each injured whose injury resulted in permanent disability; SR500,000 to each of the other injured.”

According to the report, such payment would not deprive the families of the deceased and the injured from claiming 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 Hajj next year.

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

A royal court announcement published 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 Saudi Binladin 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.”

Apart from the 111 people who were killed, 331 others were 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 Ka’aba on Sept. 11.