Victims of concrete block collapse recall horrific accident
The six victims who died during the collapse of concrete blocks at Jabal Kaaba District recently were ceramic tile installers and carpenters and they were asked to do construction work by their companies, Makkah daily reported.
Fahad Muhammad, who is from India, never thought that he would end up working in construction as he is a carpenter by profession. He is one of those who survived the horrific collapse of the concrete blocks. His condition is still poor and he does not know his coworkers and friends have died.
“I never thought I’d make it. When I saw the four-ton concrete block falling on my body, I uttered the Shahada and passed out,” Muhammad recalled. He stayed trapped under the concrete block for 10 minutes before paramedics removed him from the crush and rushed him to the hospital in a critical condition. He sustained ruptures to the upper part of the abdomen, pelvic fractures and a left hand fracture.
“I get paid SR1,187 from the contractor of the project and I hope the company helps me because I have to provide for my parents and five siblings,” he said.
Alem, who gave his first name only, said the victims who died were carpenters and ceramic tile installers and they hailed from India and Pakistan. Their bodies were crushed under the weight of the blocks.
“It was a very difficult scene for all of us to see the bodies of our friends like that,” he said.
The five victims have been identified as Noor Kazi, a 30-year-old from Indian who has three daughters; Zuhoor Ahmad, a 28-year-old from India with two daughters; Hafiz Ahmad, 45, from Pakistan with three daughters and two sons; Latif Muhammad, 28, from Pakistan with an 8-month-old daughter. The sixth victim has not been identified yet.
Alem showed Makkah daily reporter the photos of the deceased while choking back tears. “All workers at the residential complex have not slept for the last three days because they cannot get the images of the accident out of their heads. At night, you can hear some of them cry. It was a horrific experience,” he said.
Eyewitnesses said the main reason for the collapse of the concrete blocks was a tractor, which was working at a height of 12 meters. They added that the blocks suddenly began falling one after the other, killing and injuring workers that were in the way.