Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 11, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT

6:00 pm
♪ at least 107 people are killed when a crane clasps in mecca. more than 200 are injured. scenes of horror at mecca's grand mosque. the latest developing slides on this developing story. ♪ hello there. you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up on the program: panic at an austrian rail station as syrian refugees are crushed in the crowd as they beg for help. saudi-led courses carry out an
6:01 pm
airstrike in sanaa. they say it was a weapons store and rick perry pulls out of the contest to be the republican presidential candidate. ♪ in saudi arabia, at least 107 people have been killed and 238 have been injured by a crane that collapsed on mecca's grand mosque. it happened as forces prepared for this year's hage. here are the details. >> reporter: there has been heavy rain and strong winds over the holy city of mecca. during the storm, authorities say a massive crane fell on the eastern side. it caused death and carnage. dozens of people have been killed. dozens more have been injured. >> the ince did not happened at 5:23 p.m. due to severe rain.
6:02 pm
this caused the crane to collapse. collapsed near a gate on the upper side of the mezzanine area. in another section, a bridge area around the holy capitol. >> you see people excited. basically they witnessed the crane falling on the third floor of the grand mosque. there was panemonium. not because of the crane falling but the actual resulting of people trying to escape. >> the busiest time of year for the most concentrate mosque in islam for the city of mechanical as millions of pilgrims are arriving in saudi arabia to perform the hage which starts later this month.
6:03 pm
saudi authorities have started the multi-million dollar project since 20s 11. it wants to increase the grand force in mecca and make state-of-the-art infrastructure including transporters. this mecca portrait was in the construction site. it is surrounded by cranes. work is expected to last a few more years. there were no major incidents during the expansion work over the last few years. the saudi-government has called for full and swift investigation, but now, this tragic incident will force the saudi authorities to increase safety measures in and around the grand mosque ahead of the hage season. a little earlier, i spoke to sadami in the grand mosque when the train crashed through the roof.
6:04 pm
>> i heard a huge stone. it sounded like a thunderstorm. all started rushing to the shelter from that spot. and what actually happened is that the construction was going on. and the crane which was erected outside the mosque. on the mosque in the area and it fell on the roof. the roof collapsed and all of the victims who were praying there, most of them died on the spot and, you know, lots of them, the other portion inside
6:05 pm
the area, you know, near the area and there also was a lot of victims, you know, standing over it and because the rain, most of the victims were already moved from the area. otherwise, it would have done more damage. >> we were hearing there an eyewitness report. we can see the pictures there of that crane collapsing. as we have been hearing on the program there have been sources. it was those winds, winds of up to 87 kilometers an hour that were to blame for that crane that collapsed. it's worth remembering, this is 10 days away, nine days away now from the start of the hage
6:06 pm
pilgrimage. millions expected done verge on to mecca. it's estimated around 800,000 or so are already there now. security always a huge issue. there has accoun't been any sor similar incidents in mecca for at least the past 10 years. there have been some stam peds. the last one in 2004. it had settled down. this as we were hearing from our correspondent in mechanca a lit earlier, the mood in the city one of intense upset. let's speak to asher. you have approximately performed the hage and reported on it for al jazeera. what do you think this is going to do to this year's pilgrimage, not just the logistical site when it comes to the saudis organizing making sure safety is under control but more emotio l
6:07 pm
emotionally for the millions preparing to perform the hage right now. >> particularly in 10 days from now when two million and a half pilgrims converse at the very same spot, which is the grand mosque that was built around the cabba. so safety standards will be questioned by millions of pilgrims. the incidents today took place at the eastern side of the mosque where you have two things basically, the area where people walk around and at the same time action an area where people walk with what is known as the hus a&m uwa. since 2011, the massive project of expanding the grand mosque building in the area razing the
6:08 pm
ancient site and building new neighborhoods around mecca. people have been concerned saying with the whole cranes above the sky and all of the buildings near and all of the construction near the mosque, this is a concern saudi authorities have been saying everything is under control. this incident today is going to raise many concerns about the safety standards. >> hasham, the last time we spoke, the death toll stood at 87. you pretty much intimated that was likely to rise. unfortunately. you were right. confirmed 107 dead and the number of injured has gone up from 201 to 238. how ready do you think that mecca is to deal with this emergency? we are hearing activists are encouraging people to donate blood, of queues of saudi men gone to done ate blood. mecca used to assisting people
6:09 pm
who may faint, who may feel overwhelmed by the crowds by, you know, performing the hage. but how ready do you think mecca is of an incident of it this scale? >> reporter: the thing here, they have state-of-the-art hospitals in mecca, but they also have makeshift hospitals in areas where hage takes place. so, i think now, most of the injured are being treated in mecca. some of them could be taken to a 1-hour drive from mecca or on the outskirts of the holy city of mecca. saudi arabia in the last few years has managed to build health facilities to accommodate the growing number. in the '70s and the '60s,
6:10 pm
107,000 going to that spot. now, 3 million and a half. only reduced when the start of the mega project in mecca. so, the hospitals that should be dealing with the situation but i think because they have been overwhelmed. some. critical cases could be taken to places like jetta where they have established hospitals and very advanced medical care. >> and this must be an incredibly upsetting time, not only obviously for the people in mecca but for all of the relatives around the world who must be worried. what's actually in place? i know we are getting the details of some nationalities. i think 12 egyptians injured, around 19 turkish people, but when it comes to actually getting information, for relatives who may want to know what's happened to their loved once, once actually in place
6:11 pm
that you can see? >> just to give you an idea, this has always been a defendant delicate task in mecca. so you are talking about a place where thousands and thousands of pilgrims, two million and a half this year from a sait spot from different nationalramentsalties. during the day, they start performing the rituals, going to the grand mosque for the prayers until at about 9:00 p.m. when they start going back to their hotels. so what happens with this incident is the following: you would have people who chose to stay at the hotel, those who went to the grand mosque. now, many people are staying at the hotel are inquiring about relatives who were performing the rituals at the moment of the incident. this is number 1. no. 2, you have the relatives based in their home countries now very much concerned about what happened. it's a very delicate situation. now, each country has a
6:12 pm
representation in mecca and those are the ones who are going with the saudi authorities about the identities of those who were killed and, also, those who are being treated. so, i think it's going to take really some time until you identities are established and we may not be able in the coming hours to identify exactly who were killed. i think we have to wait until tomorrow because the hospitals are whoefrmd. saudi authorities are dealing with the situation and the aftermath of the situation. so, it's going to be a very delicate situation. but also very tough time for the relatives of those who were killed and injured. >> antagonizing wait. thank you. hasham was mentioned as the main links really are going to be national representatives who will liase with the government and the relatives from their country who will want to get
6:13 pm
some more information. earlier, we spoke to one of them, the indian deputy counsel general and hage counsel. he has been to the scene and describes what he saw. >> well, i had visited the area and what i saw was the debris fall and outside of the mosque. it is in an injured position. tu had fallep inside the area, going over the side. and i have yet to and when i had
6:14 pm
gone there prayers were going on and a lot was going on. >> the indian deputy council general and hajj counsel speaking to us a little earlier. a little earlier, we heard from the saudi authorities. they said that according to them, it was the strong winds, that storm that caused the crane to collapse. richard from al jazeera weather team has more now on the extreme weather that is being blamed for the collapse. >> the thunderstorms are probably linked to the area of mroesh which gave them across the levant region. bring about a change of atmospheric conditions.
6:15 pm
as a result, we have had the ideal combination for major storm development. heat, which there is in abundance there. high humidity, wind off of the red sea area and we have had uplift, winds coming in across the mountains. this mountain rage from yemen and once you've got that, it kurnlingz the earth. ones you get the rain falling, you get big down drafts. you can see on the satellite image re, an area almost explodes right across mecca so there would have been very, very severe storms. we haven't got official records from the airport in terms of the gusts of wind. you can see how those storms have died away but they are a feature of the weather at this time of the year for mecca. more than half of the thunderstorms which occurred during the year occurred during the autumn months. it was inevitable one would happen. unfortunately it had to happen right across mecca, right at the
6:16 pm
time 69 hage. ♪ >> the deep rift has widened further with the eastern european countries with hungary, policyland, the czech republic rejecting refugee quotas. they rushed the crane as police held people back. the -- rushed the train. it had been brought to transport refugees but the scene became chaotic. a child was treated after he was injured in the incident. almost 4,000 crossed into hungary on thursday. just 450 were fluid on the train. hungary is facing mounting criticism
6:17 pm
now. >> rights groups say conditions
6:18 pm
inside the camp are appalling. >> the hungarian government has neither the capacity nor the political will to address the humanitarian needs of these people. >> videos of men and women fenced in, desperate to leave. he says they look more like prisoners than refugees. >> these are fairly miserable conditions? >> absolutely. yeah. i mean, you know, people are just crowded in means line animals. >> inlz the hungarian government is attempting to send amental by deliberately mistreating refugees? >> they frankly want to make their lives as miserable as possible. the word gets out to the many thousands still planning this journey to try to avoid hungary to the extent possible. >> in a statement to al jazeera, hungary's interior ministry says these images have been taken out of context and that the media shouldn't jump to conclusions. here, on the country's border with serbia, the influx continues even as the weather
6:19 pm
worsens. huddles together to stay warm, they use anything they can to remain dry. throughout hungary, their stories are only getting worse. refugees desperate and surprised who can't understand why they are unwelcome. >> i met a man at the station who escaped from a town held by isis, and he told me sitting there in the station with his three children, it's better in syria because in syria, if there is an explosion, you die once. hear, i am dying a thousand deaths of humiliation in front of my children. >> having fled homes and been separated from loved ones and lost pos ethsz, the last thing they ever expected was to be stripped of their dignity. mohammed jamjoon. al jazeera. turkey is where many bound boats bound for agrees. authorities say they have rescued thousands off of the
6:20 pm
coast this week. the coast guard said it found 77 different operations since monday. it's called 2,033 refugees in the western turkey. more than 430,000 have crossed to europe this year. that's more than double the number who attempted the crossing last year. and there is no sign of the crisis of beijing with more and more refugees crossing to greek islands every day. afghan refugees were filmed on friday. the island has been the starting point for nearly half of the 200,000 regu jeez who have landed in greece so far this year. . >> from greece, many of them head for germany. the country is anticipating 800,000 refugee access in 2015. the politicians incest the country can deal with the numbers. winning the hearts and minds
6:21 pm
campaign in small villages is another matter. rob reynolds traveled to vilo for this report. >> in eastern germany, zelo is a town near the polish border with 5 and a half thousand residents. there are also more than a thousand refugees in the region and with refugees surging into germany each day, there will soon be hundreds more placed here some residents welcome them. this woman said she, herself, was a refugee following germany's defeat in 1945. >> i know how it feels when you are on the road with no food, water or a place to stay. >> others say refugees are a burden and get too many government benefits. >> there are too many. they are overrunning us. >> german society will go under because we are being put into a corner. >> this area is economically
6:22 pm
depressed and has been losing population for decades. >> in plane places, lots of buildings are empty. people are afraid of the refugees because people don't know foreigners here they only know their village community. >> reporter: getting people to overcome those feelings takes a lot of work says local administrator, ludz omsil. >> reporter: >> the first thing is we explain what kind of condition they are in. some don't know anything about that. >> reporter: this shelter outside of townhouses 65 people, refugees from several countries. we visited with flavio and two of his friends in the room where he has lived for nine months. >> it's clean. we get medical care and everything. we get our benefits. so we are pretty content. >> but the residents are isolated here sinjar hussein says he has never spoken with a single german person outside the
6:23 pm
shelter. >> we would like to mix with other human beings in order to get used to these people. >> the people here say they are perfectly happy with the way they are being treated and they have had no conflict did with any germans, but they are anxious to leave this place and move on to find their own place in german society. >> ala and her husband and 3-year-old daughter fled from latakia in syria. >> i want to complete my study here at university. we love germany people. >> maybe these children already learning german at school will help their families integ gate into their new land and pave the way for thousands of new arrivals. rob reynolds, al jazeera, zelo, germany.
6:24 pm
the kingdom of saudi arabia relied a statement in response to criticism that the gulf state was not doing enough to help refugees fleeing syria. it says that since the conflict began, the conflict has received about 2 and a half million refugees. it goes on to say refugees have been given the freedom to move about the country and those who wish to remain in saudi arabia have been given legal residency status. there has been -- it has been 14 years since the 9-11 attacks on the united states. president barack obama and his wife, michelle, held a moment of silence at the whitehouse to honor the victims. other services have taken place across the country. more than 3,000 people were killed when four hijacked commercial planes were flown into target did across the northeast united states. >> staying in the u.s. while the con terndz in the race to be republican candidate has pulled out. rick perry, a former governor of
6:25 pm
texas is leaving a crowded republican field for the candidacy. it was his second bit for the nomination. life there to washington, d.c. and al jazeera's alan fisher is there for us. why does he step down now? >> there were and then there were 16. well, he is struggling financially. he is just not getting the money he would. there are a number of rich backers where he was the longest serving governor but they have tended to go with other people that they think have more chance of winning the nomination. in the last couple of months, he failed to pay his own campaign staffers. he said if you want to go and find another job, you can. he obviously thought some would stay. many just disappeared. he is struggling to get traction in the polls as well. he is polling at under 2% in the early stage and that is really death as far as getting more money into campaign is concerned. it's the second time he has tried to run for the nomination. he did so four years ago.
6:26 pm
everyone will remember him for that disastrous debate appearance where he couldn't remember at least departments of government that he would close down if he was leeblthd president and we ended up with just a really embarrassing situation. >> defined his campaign. he came back smarter. he had read up on fortunately policy, things he knew he would talk about. he started wearing glasses. they made him look smarter. it hasn't been enough. from a field of 17, we are down to 16. if you would have asked me if rick perry would be the first to drop out, i would probably say no. if he is gone, there are others toward the bottom part of the field that are going to start feeling the pinch. three months ago suspected there would be, i won't say a frontrunner but such a notable member of that republican race. just tell us who the frontrunners are there. >> reporter: remember at this stage, the holes are really i c candictive rather than
6:27 pm
predictive. they are saying what's happening. and some candidates are getting air time, getting people talking about them. donald trump, ben carson, they remain the two front runners. people will then ask: is rick perry disappearing out of this race significant in any way? the honest answer is probably not. he takes a lot of support from across the party. there are many people who like him for differently things, for his record in tensionas, the fact he is an evangelical christian, for other things but the fact he served in the military, but the simple fact is, there is no one block of vote that will go from rick perry to someone else. so, it's not that significant a departure. it takes us from 17 to 16. as i say, donald trump, ben carson remain in the front. it's a long way to go before we get to iowa. those first caucuses are in february. so we've still got the end part of the summer, the autumn and the winter to get through. there are going to be a lot of changes in that race between now and then. >> the presidential race starts in earnest. alan fisher live for us in washington, d.c.
6:28 pm
alan, thank you. lots more to come on al jazeera. including we are going to report from the japanese city of joso where torrential rain has flooded thousands of homes and find out what got more than a million people out on the streets of barcelona. ♪
6:29 pm
this is a great place to work. not because they have yoga meetings and a juice bar. because they're getting comcast business internet. comcast business offers convenient installation appointments that work around your schedule. and it takes- done. - about an hour. get reliable internet that's up to five times faster than dsl from the phone company. call 800-501-6000 to switch today. perks are nice. but the best thing you can give your business is comcast business. comcast business. built for business.
6:30 pm
coming up on "al jazeera america," tragedy at one of the holiest sites. troubling video out of a ref uming e kept. people kept in pennsylvania and fed like animals.