Red Crescent supports response to crane collapse at the Grand Mosque of Mecca

Published: 18 September 2015 13:07 CET

By Mr Ibrahim Al-Hamdan, Saudi Red Crescent Authority

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority is once more providing emergency services on roads, ports and airports in support of the pilgrims making their way to Mecca and Medina. Under the guidance of His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, head of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority is providing its services based on the principle of humanity with the support of 3,645 staff and volunteers - including paramedics, doctors and technicians - in 165 centres. Nine helicopters and 555 ambulances and motorcycle paramedics are also on standby to provide first aid and transportation services during the pilgrimage period.

The Authority was directly involved in the response to the recent crane collapse in the Grand Mosque of Mecca on 11 September, and the first teams were on the scene within three minutes of the first call coming into the operations centre. In total, the Saudi Red Crescent Authority deployed 68 mobile medical teams. 

After its initial assessment, responders called in additional support from teams stationed in Mecca, Jeddah, Taif, Arafa Bab Ali, Bab al-Marwah, Shabika and Bab al-Salam. In total 154 passengers were transported to nearby hospitals, and 20 people were treated for minor injuries on site.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca during Dhu'l Hijja is one of the largest gatherings of people in the world and, each year, the Saudi Red Crescent Authority mounts its largest operation providing first aid and other support services to pilgrims.