Riyadh: At least 87 people were killed after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, which is preparing for the Annual Haj pilgrimage, authorities said.
154 people were also injured in the accident, stated the civil defence on its twitter account. Among them 9 are Indians.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “We have received reports that 9 Indian pilgrims are injured.”
Swarup added that the Indian consulate in Jeddah is “monitoring the situation in Makkah following the tragic accident”.
Senior officers including the Indian consul-general “are on the ground in Makkah. Indian doctors are deployed in all government hospitals and ascertaining more information”, another tweet by Swarup added.
Al Arabiya television reported the cause of the crane falling to be strong sand storms which have been hitting western Saudi Arabia since the past few days.
Images on social media appear to show part of a huge crane crashed through the mosque roof. After the conclusion of the current and final expansion, the mosque could accommodate more than three million worshipers in one hour.
Mecca, the holiest city for Islam, is preparing for the annual Haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, for which thousands of Muslims are expected to arrive from all over the world later in September.
These gatherings of millions often lead to stampedes, fires or other hazards. Saudi authorities have spent vast sums to ensure better safety and transportation, and prevent disasters.
"As threat actors continue to enhance their techniques and explore new creative means of theft, it is crucial that users are mindful of potential risks and undertake necessary measures to protect themselves this holiday season," advised Krishnapur
With Christmas around the corner, cybersecurity firm McAfee on Tuesday revealed that 56.1 per cent Indians have fallen victim to discount scams by clicking on malicious links during holiday shopping online.
The year-end festivities present a variety of threats to consumers shopping online, with more than half (53.6 per cent) Indians falling victim to scams resulting from deceiving apps, said McAfee’s ‘Christmas Scams Survey’.
At least one in four (28.6 per cent) Indians have lost between Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 as a result of fake online retail sites, while 78.6 per cent experienced seasonal travel scams through unsolicited and malicious links.
While cybercriminal activity continues to grow in sophistication, popular scams like email phishing (25.3 per cent) and text phishing (21.1 per cent) still result in close to a quarter of Indians being duped throughout the season, said the survey.
“With the sheer volume of people shopping online, they tend to get careless, carried away with discounts, and open themselves to phishing attacks, frauds, malicious websites, and viruses that aim to steal money and personal information,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India.
Throughout the festivities, 60.2 per cent people have fallen victim to robocalling and 57.1 per cent through SIM-jacking.
A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.
A new trend that hit unsavvy consumers hard this festive season was through phony gift cards.
Nearly 39.3 per cent Indians were directed to a site, were they were asked to input personal information such as name, telephone number or credit card information, with 40 per cent losing between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000.
Leveraging the emotional aspects of philanthropy and generosity, 60.7 per cent were victims of fake charities, with scammers impersonating genuine trusts to ask for donations.
The survey revealed a staggering number (52.6 per cent) between the age of 18 to 24 years faced the brunt of romance scams, and 60 per cent millennials agree to being scammed by e-greetings.
“As threat actors continue to enhance their techniques and explore new creative means of theft, it is crucial that users are mindful of potential risks and undertake necessary measures to protect themselves this holiday season,” advised Krishnapur. (IANS)