Sign in to comment!

Fox News Weather Center

BREAKING: Crane Collapses on Mecca's Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia Killing at Least 87

At least 87 people were killed Friday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when a crane collapsed on the city's Grand Mosque during a strong thunderstorm, the Associated Press reports.

The AP, citing the Saudi Arabia Civil Defense Authority, said at least 184 were injured.

"A strong thunderstorm developed in the higher terrain east of Mecca, then spread westward into Mecca with damaging winds," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said. "The steering winds were easterly, which helped to direct the thunderstorm to the west and into Mecca."

Airport observations just east of Mecca, indicated that thunder was reported around 5 p.m. local time. Temperatures dropped from 104 F (40 C) to 77 F (25 C) in less than two hours, Smerbeck said.

Later this month, Muslims from all over the world are expected to descend on Mecca, Islam's holiest site, as part of the annual hajj pilgrimage.