Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Court rules against Binladin Group in crane tragedy

A crane that collapsed into the Grand Mosque in Mecca Reuters
The crane toppled into the Grand Mosque during hajj in 2015, killing more than 100 people
  • SAR20m fine confirmed by Supreme Court
  • 8 company officials received prison terms
  • More than 100 people died in accident

The Saudi Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling against the Binladin Group, fining the construction company SAR20 million ($5.33 million) for a 2015 accident in which a crane collapsed in Mecca during the hajj pilgrimage season.

The court found that safety violations caused the deaths of more than 100 people.

The Okaz newspaper reported on August 13 that in closing the case with a final ruling – after Binladin Group objected to an earlier appeals court verdict – the Supreme Court also upheld sentences of three years in prison and fines for eight company officials.

The court acquitted three engineers and supervisors, and closed a case against one defendant who later died. 

The accident occurred during high winds in September 2015, and precipitated a dramatic decline in Binladin Group’s fortunes. King Salman ordered a year-long halt in state contracts to the group, formed in 1931 by the bin Laden family.

It had become a favoured builder as the country expanded with the 1970s oil boom. After an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2017, the government took a one-third stake from bin Laden family members in 2018 and established effective control over the board.

The company remains central to tourism and infrastructure projects as part of the Vision 2030 project to diversify the economy away from oil revenues. 

Last year the government appointed the financial advisory firm Rothschild to supervise restructuring of the group and reduce debt thought to be in the range of $20-$30 billion.

It remains a private conglomerate, not listed on the Saudi stock exchange.

Latest articles

Saudi commercial property. Occupancy rates in Riyadh grew 5 percentage points but fell in Jeddah and Dammam

Interest in Saudi commercial space may be peaking

Weakening demand in Saudi Arabia’s commercial sector suggests the market could be reaching a plateau, a new survey indicates.  The Global Commercial Property Monitor report by the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found that demand for space rose by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2024, compared with a 53 percent rise […]

Aircraft, Airliner, Airplane

Tunisair growth slows as costs rise

Tunisair’s revenue increased by only 3 percent year on year to TND695 million ($224 million) in the first half of 2024, as fuel costs rose and its market share shrank. Passenger numbers went up by 2 percent to 1.17 million, compared to 1.15 million a year ago, the state-run Tunis Afrique Presse reported. Average revenue […]

A cattle drive in the Pantanal region. Meat is a major component of Brazil's trade with Saudi Arabia

Brazil’s JBS to open Saudi food factory as trade ties deepen

Brazilian multinational JBS is to open a food factory in Saudi Arabia with an investment of SAR500 million ($133 million), in a further sign of the strengthening ties between the two countries. JBS, one of the largest meat and poultry producers in the world, will open the facility in Jeddah under its subsidiary Seara by […]