On Saturday, a Frenchman reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Disturbing footage from the inside of Islam's holiest site shows the man falling as crowds gathered for Friday prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

A cry of horror went up among the pilgrims as they helplessly watched the man fall. Local police officers and paramedics were seen desperately trying to revive the man.

"At 9.20 pm, a foreigner threw himself from the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca to the courtyard below, resulting in his instant death," Saudi police told SPA news agency.

A video of the incident has gone viral online

A French official with the country's foreign ministry told AFP in Paris that the man was French but gave no further details.

Subsequently, the body was transported to the hospital, with an investigation underway "to determine the victim's identity, what led to the act and how he was able to commit [suicide] despite the existence of a metal fence," SPA said.

Source: Metro.co.uk

However, this was not the first act of its kind to take place in Mecca, which, like other monotheistic religions, prohibits suicide.

In February 2017, a Saudi man reportedly tried to set himself on fire in front of the Kaaba after soaking himself with petrol but was stopped by police.

The Kaaba is central to the Islamic faith, with Muslims required to face in its direction when performing daily prayers.

Here is how people are reacting to the devastating news online.

"Mental health is not a joke!!"



"All Muslim communities should take mental health a lot more seriously"

"We need to have serious discussions and find solutions in order to tackle mental health"

"You don’t know the struggles that individual has had to go through"

"Depression is a real mental health issue"