Crane collapse case: Appeal period expires

Crane collapse case: Appeal period expires


By Adnan Al-Shibrawi
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Appeal period for sentences issued in the crane collapse case expired last Sunday.

Many people were killed and injured when a crawler crane toppled over onto the Grand Mosque in Makkah in September 2015.

A source said the Penal Court ruled to dismiss the case.

The attorney general submitted a memorandum of 20 pages to the Court of Appeals appealing the Penal Court’s verdict to dismiss the case. A jury was formed to look into the appeal and settle the dispute between the attorney and the Penal Court, said the source.

The Penal Court dismissed the case considering it out of its jurisdiction.
The Penal Court consulted three of its judges and two of them concluded that it does not deal with cases related to safety violations.

The attorney general appealed the decision claiming that the Penal Court should look into the charges against the people involved in the crane collapse, said the source.

The attorney general claimed the case included the charges of negligence and destruction of properties and lives.

The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution submitted reports to the higher authorities stating that the cause of the collapse of the crane was strong wind.

The reports also stated that the crane’s position was in violation of the manufacturer’s operation manual, said the source.

The people responsible for the safety did not spot the violations. The security management of the project did not alert crane operators of the weather conditions.

The security management did not respond to numerous notifications it received of weather warnings.

The contractor Saudi Binladin Group holds some of the responsibility for the accident. The bureau also reevaluated the consultancy contract of the project to ensure that it included checkups on the cranes used in the project and to ensure that the safety procedures of the project are implemented, said the source.

A number of defendants in the case submitted a memorandum stating that safety violations cases are not within the jurisdiction of the Penal Court but of the Civil Defense.