No fewer than 87 people died Friday evening in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia when a construction crane fell onto the Grand Mosque. A Saudi law enforcement agency announced that a total of 184 people were injured.
According to The Weather Channel, the crane was brought down by strong winds in the area. According to a Saudi law enforcement Twitter account, rescue crews have been sent to the scene. Prince Khaled al-Faisal, Mecca's governor, has announced that there will be further investigation into the incident.
The site of the collapse, known in Arabic as the Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque in the world, and the building that surrounds the structure known as the Kaaba, which is the literal holiest of holies in the Muslim faith. The Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that is part of the foundation of Islamic faith, is scheduled to begin in ten days.
According to The Guardian, Saudi authorities are intensely focused on the site this time of year, because pilgrims are typically beginning to arrive in droves. The collapse occurred just before evening prayers.
UPDATE: Death toll rising in — Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila)September 11, 2015
The crowded site is not a stranger to tragedies of this magnitude or greater. A building collapse nine years ago claimed 76 lives. Structural collapses, fires, stampedes, and even acts of terrorism have caused the deaths of over 3,000 people since a deadly sectarian clash in 1987.
According to descriptions of the scene reported by Al Jazeera, the area is now closed to the public, and crowded with dozens of ambulances fighting the effects of heavy rain to help victims.