CAIRO: Fourteen people were injured in a fire erupted Wednesday in the Grand Mosque of Mecca, according to the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.
Three injured people were transferred to hospital while other 11 received first-aid treatment on the spot, Red Crescent spokesperson Abdullah al-Ghamdy was quoted as saying by the Saudi news website Rasel.
Civil defense forces have not reported the accident on their website, but several news sources said the fire, which broke out Wednesday evening, was immediately contained. According to media spokesperson Saleh al-Aliani, the fire erupted in the wooden scaffolding at the mosque’s expansion area.
The civil defense said no casualties were reported.
The last massive expansion work in the surrounding of the mosque was ordered by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in early 2014. The new expansion could house up to 625,000 people, Al-Arabiya reported on July 4.
Preparations for the pilgrimage season, the Hajj, scheduled to take place in October had begun amid intense security measures. Head of the General Security Directorate Othman Al-Muhrej told Al-Arabiya news that security personnel will be deployed in all areas of the mosque, including the newly established section, in addition to security tapes.