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87 killed, 154 injured including 9 Indians by falling crane in Mecca Grand Mosque

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source: ahram online
source: nbcnews
source: nbcnews

By Newsgram staff writer

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.

swarup tweets

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.

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Most Urban Indians Worry About Getting Jobs: Ipsos

More urban Indians worried about jobs, still back govt

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Indians jobs
Employment generation needs to be the top priority of the government, as it is reaching alarming proportions, among worry levels of urban Indians. (Representational Image). Pixabay

For the BJP-led Central government battling opposition criticism over a sluggish economy, the latest report of the Ipsos ‘What Worries the World’ monthly survey has good news as well as bad. 58 per cent of urban Indian respondents, in January, believed that India is heading in the right direction, unlike global citizens, of whom at least 61 per cent believe their country is on the wrong track.

However the bad news for the BJP is that the survey results for January show an 11 percent drop in optimism levels from December, when no less than 69 percent of urban Indians polled believed that India is moving in the right direction.

Indians jobs
Urban Indians continue to list joblessness or unemployment, crime and violence, and financial and political corruption as their top concerns. Pixabay

“Employment generation needs to be the top priority of the government, as it is reaching alarming proportions, among worry levels of urban Indians. Likewise, law & order and incidents of violence need to be tackled with a firm hand,” said Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.

Urban Indians continue to list joblessness or unemployment, crime and violence, and financial and political corruption as their top concerns. In January, worries centred around financial and political corruption saw a slight dip of 2 per cent over the previous month, while concerns over joblessness, and crime and violence zoomed up by 11 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

“Urban Indians continue to be optimistic and have faith in the abilities of the administrators, steering the country. Government should allay their worries by taking concrete steps. Some of the initiatives announced in the Union Budget, around Education & Skills under ‘Aspirational India’ theme, are likely to a have a positive impact, in the long term. However, we need some immediate term measures, to improve outlook,” Adarkar added.

Also Read- Here’s How the Youth is Helping Politics Grow in India

In all, 19,508 interviews were conducted for the January survey, between December 20, 2019 and January 3, 2020 in 28 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. (IANS)