Carried aloft through the streets, hundreds of Muslims gathered yesterday to bury 29 of the victims killed when a crane collapsed at Mecca’s Grand mosque. Dressed largely in white, the mourners packed the streets to pay their respects as the first of the dead made their final journey to Al-Moaissem cemetery. The sad procession passed by the holy site, where the construction crane crashed through the ceiling of the mosque and toppled onto worshipers.
The bodies were released for funeral as the Saudi King sanctioned the Bin Laden family construction group over the disaster, which also left 394 injured. Officials ordered one million riyals (£174,000) be paid to the relatives of those killed, and the same amount to those permanently injured. Others injured will receive half that amount. Among the dead was father-of-four Qasim Akram, pictured below from Bolton, Greater Manchester, who was on his first pilgrimage when the crane crashed down. Mr Akram had been in the Grand Mosque with his parents ahead of the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage. His parents, Mr and Mrs Mohammad Akram, are believed to have escaped without injury. May their souls rest in perfect peace.