At least 62 people were killed when a crane crashed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense authority said on its Twitter account.
It said nearly 30 people were injured as well.
Pictures circulating on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and masses of debris from a part of the crane that seemed to have crashed through a ceiling.
The annual Muslim Haj pilgrimage is due later this month, and Saudi authorities go to great lengths to be prepared for the millions of Muslims who converge on Mecca.
Last year, the kingdom reduced the numbers permitted to perform haj for safety reasons because of construction work to enlarge the Grand Mosque.