Liebherr Cranes

The Falling Tower of Mecca

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An investigation into the disaster in Mecca, which killed 107 people, showed the toppled crane hadn’t been erected according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Companies need communication strategies to deal quickly with accidents when they happen and to follow up with information.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Saudi Arabia suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group from new contracts after an investigation into last week’s disaster in Mecca that killed 107 people showed the toppled crane hadn’t been erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, Reuters reported.
    • The crane was made by Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH, which was founded in 1969 and is a global leader in the manufacture of mobile cranes.
    • The firm is part of the Liebherr Group, which includes more than 130 companies in more than 50 countries.
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    Audio

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The crane that toppled over at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 people and injuring 238 others last week, was manufactured at Liebherr’s plant in Ehingen in southern Germany.

The disaster has drawn international attention, and is even a topic of conversation at the International Motor Show underway in Frankfurt, where car executives know all too well how such incidents can quickly and severely damage a company’s image.

The Mecca accident is the worst disaster in crane builder Liebherr’s history, which began after World War II.

But it’s not the first – there have been three deadly accidents with the type of crane used in Mecca. The best known was at the World Cup construction site in 2013 in São Paulo, Brazil, where two workers were killed. The soil beneath the crane hadn’t been properly prepared and was too soft to keep the structure from toppling over.

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