Court rules Binladin Group staff not responsible for Mecca crash

5 October 2017

A Saudi Arabian court has cleared 13 Saudi Binladin Group employees of responsibility for the fatal 2015 crane collapse in Mecca, according to regional media sources.

The incident occurred on 11 September 2015, when a Liebherr LR 11350 crawler crane working on the expansion of the Grand Mosque at Mecca collapsed in high winds, killing at least 109 people.

Arabic daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat’s English edition reported that the Binladin Group’s defense team claimed the construction firm could not have predicted the severe thunderstorm and violent winds that caused the crane to fall. In January, it was reported that a Mecca criminal court had ruled it had no jurisdiction in the case.  A Saudi government description of the country’s court system explains that penal courts, like the one apparently involved in this case, consider issues of retributive justice, including ‘blood money’ or lex talionis compensation.  It is unclear from available reports whether this is a separate court or the same one.

The newspaper also wrote that the attorney general filed an appeal against the decision which was approved.