President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have separately commiserated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, over Friday’s mishap in Mecca, which reportedly claimed the lives over 100 pilgrims including injuries suffered by three Nigerians.
A statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, Saturday, said President Buhari urged all Nigerians to pray for the continued safety of their compatriots currently in that country for this year’s Hajj.
“The President prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed in the incident, which occurred only about an hour before evening mahgrib prayers on the Muslim weekly day of prayer and grant the injured speedy recovery,” the statement read.
At least 100 people were killed and 184 were injured, Friday, when the crane collapsed at one of Islam’s most important mosques – Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, the Saudi Arabian government has said.
According ro reports, the crane fell on the east side of the building after a sandstorm, high winds and heavy rain.
The building’s doors were shut and people were locked inside. There was “slight pandemonium”, according to reports
“Dozens of ambulances are heading to the site. The authorities closed off the area shortly afterwards,” a source said.
“This whole place is already a construction site. What made it worse is that around 5.30pm there was severe rain and it’s just gushing down the road,” he said. “I am surrounded by people who are grieving. The mood here is of sadness.”
The Masjid al-Haram surrounds Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba – a shrine that worshipers visit during the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Also reacting, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, commiserated with the Saudi Arabian authorities and the Muslim Ummah over death of 107 people in Friday’s crane collapse at the Grand Mosque, Mecca.
Saraki in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sanni Onogu, on Saturday in Abuja also prayed for quick recovery of those injured.
He noted that the tragedy, coming two weeks to a period where hundreds of thousands of Islamic faithful would gather at the holy mosque for this year’s pilgrimage was disheartening.
He called on the Saudi authorities and relevant stakeholders to do all that was necessary to ensure safety of citizens and pilgrims in the holy city before, during and after the hajj exercise.