Editor's note: The following post has been updated as new reports were released.
- Saudi Arabian authorities said at least 107 people were killed and 238 were injured after a construction crane collapsed into the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia Friday.
- An Al Jazeera correspondent reported the crane smashed into the third floor of the mosque, which was full of visitors in advance of the 6:30 p.m. prayer.
- Officials blamed the crash on powerful winds during a rainstorm. Prince Khalid al-Faisal, Mecca’s governor, has ordered an official investigation into the cause of the crash. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has reportedly said he will make the results of an investigation public once it is completed.
Mecca has pumped up construction recently in preparation for the coming wave of visitors, especially for the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, which begins in the coming weeks.
The Grand Mosque — the largest mosque in the world — has been undergoing a massive expansion to add 4.3 million square feet to the space in order to accommodate 2.2 million people in the mosque at once.
The Guardian said the crane collapse "exposed a shoddy breakneck construction boom" in Mecca. Irfan al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told The Guardian: "There is no health and safety system in place. In London, when you have construction work, the public are kept away, but in Mecca machinery is deployed in areas accessible to the public."
Saudi Arabian authorities are in the process of inspecting the safety standards of construction sites and equipment near the Grand Mosque.
Construction giant Saudi Binladin Group is in charge of the mosque's expansion. An engineer for the group said the crane had been installed correctly and there were no technical problems with the equipment. "It was an act of God," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia and "all Muslims around the world in the aftermath of this dreadful incident at one of Islam's holiest sites."