Makkah’s Summary Court on Sunday ruled that victims and affectees of the 2015 crane crash at the Grand Mosque which resulted in the deaths of at least 109 people would not receive any blood money or compensation, the Saudi Gazette reported.
The court ruled that none of the damages to human life or property at the Grand Mosque would be compensated as the disaster was caused by natural reasons without any human element behind it.
Earlier in October, the court had acquitted all 13 employees of the Binladen Group who were charged with negligence, observing that they were not criminally responsible for the incident.
A massive construction crane had crashed into Makkah’s Grand Mosque in September 2015, killing 109 people, less than a fortnight before Haj was supposed to start.
The crane that crashed was one of several that the Saudi Binladen Group had erected as part of a multi-billion-dollar expansion plan to accommodate the increasing numbers of faithful.
King Salman had suspended the firm from new public contracts for several months after the tragedy and ordered that all victims be paid compensation of up to 1 million Riyals to the families of the dead, and 500,000 Riyals to the families of the incapacitated injured.
His orders, however, appear not to have been binding, as blood money or compensation is decided by the court, the Gazette reported.
The judge hearing the case said the decision was taken after a thorough review of technical, engineering, mechanical and geophysical reports, as well as a study of the reports of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment, which said that heavy rains and thunderstorms were responsible for the collapse of the crane, the report said.
It also reviewed reports issued by specialised international centres submitted by the Binladen group in addition to reports from the Saudi Civil Defence Directorate before making a decision.
“The crane was in an upright, correct and safe position. There was no error committed by the accused who took all the necessary safety precautions,” the court said.
“The Attorney General did not present any solid evidence that the Binladen Group had violated safety rules. The evidence he had presented was not sufficient to incriminate the defendants,” it added.
The presence of the crane in the Grand Mosque for over two years had been approved by authorities, the court said.
Saudi Binladen Group, which developed landmark buildings in the kingdom, was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in Pakistan in 2011.