Saudi King sanctions Binladin Group after Mecca crane accident
RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday sanctioned the Saudi Binladin Group for last Friday's crane collapse at Mecca's Grand Mosque, which killed more than 100 people days before the hajj pilgrimage.
The construction firm belongs to the family of the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency, executives in the firm are forbidden from leaving the kingdom pending the completion of judicial action against it following the collapse at Islam's holiest site.
Saudi Binladin Group has also been barred from taking on new projects in Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s royal court imposed the bans, which will continue until the probe into the accident is concluded, according to a statement posted on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
The finance ministry will review all projects undertaken by the privately owned conglomerate.
A crane operated by the company collapsed earlier this month at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, leaving 107 dead and injuring 238. The accident was caused by strong winds and the mistaken position of crane, according to the statement.
A massive £14billion project is currently underway to increase the area of the mosque by 4.3million sq ft - so that it can accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.
Binladen Group, one of the biggest construction firms in Saudi Arabia, handles major projects in the kingdom including the $7.2 billion expansion of King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and much of the Grand Mosque.
The group was established in 1931, five years after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded.