At least 63 killed in Mecca building collapse

January 6, 2006 16:00

Rescue workers still hoped Friday to find survivors from a four-story building that collapsed in Islam's holiest city, killing at least 53 people and marring the start of the annual gathering of millions of pilgrims. Under spotlights, hundreds of men worked with cranes and other tools through the night to remove huge slabs of concrete from the site of Thursday's collapse. Some workers cut through steel girders with blow torches and others used microphones to listen for signs of life. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said Friday the death toll has reached 53 with 62 injured, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on its Web site. Previously security officials had put the injured toll at 70. "I believe that people are trapped and I still hope to find some survivors," said Brig. Hamad al-Ahmadi, who oversaw the night operation.

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