Saudi Arabia suspended giving new contracts to construction giant Saudi Binladin Group Tuesday, after last week’s deadly crane collapse in Mecca’s Grand Mosque. The country ordered its Finance Ministry to review the firm’s existing contracts.
King Salman also barred the group’s board members and senior executives from leaving the country after an investigation found that the crane had not been erected in accordance with safety measures.
Saudi Binladin Group has been the Islamic kingdom’s favored company for large-scale and important projects, including security and defense work. It had erected the cranes as part of expansion work at the Grand Mosque. The company was founded over 80 years ago by the father of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and is run by his brother Bakr.
An official statement said the company’s "shortcomings" meant that the suspension would remain until the investigation was complete and all legal cases were settled, Reuters reported.
The crane collapse, which killed 107 people and also injured 238, came less than two weeks before the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which draws millions of people to Islam’s holiest site.
"The state wants to show to both the corporate and the Islamic world that they will address any wrongdoing and that they are on top of things," John Sfakianakis, regional director at Ashmore Group, which handles the administration of the mosques at Mecca and Medina, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Extensive development work has been undertaken to expand areas in the main pilgrimage sites, where previous incidents of stampeding pilgrims have lead to hundreds being crushed to death.