Iraq fire: At least 100 killed in blaze at a wedding party in Nineveh
State media has reported that a tragic incident unfolded in northern Iraq where a fire erupted at a wedding, resulting in a devastating toll of at least 100 casualties and leaving approximately 150 others injured.
Local media has indicated that both the bride and groom were among the unfortunate victims. The fire took place in the Al-Hamdaniya district within Iraq’s northern Nineveh province during the late hours of Tuesday.
The cause of the fire remains unclear at this point, but initial accounts suggest that it may have ignited following the use of fireworks. A photograph released by the Iraqi news agency Nina depicted numerous firefighters battling the flames, while images shared on social media by local journalists revealed the charred remnants of the event hall.
It is possible that combustible materials within the building contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, resulting in sections of the ceiling collapsing.
According to Iraq’s civil defense directorate, “The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when a fire breaks out,” as reported by another news agency, Nina.
Firefighters were observed combing through the wreckage of the structure in search of survivors during the early hours of Wednesday morning, as documented in a video captured at the scene by a correspondent for the Reuters news agency.
Eyewitnesses said hundreds of people were there celebrating when the building caught fire at around 10:45 local time (19:45 GMT).
“We saw the fire pulsating, coming out of the hall. Those who managed got out and those who didn’t got stuck. Even those who made their way out were broken,” Imad Yohana, a 34-year-old who escaped the inferno, told Reuters.
Ambulances and medical crews were sent to the site by Iraqi authorities, according to official statements.
Iraq’s prime minister told officials to “mobilize all efforts to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate incident,” his office said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The injured have been transferred to hospitals across the Nineveh region, the region’s governor told INA. He suggested that the number of deaths and injuries was not fixed and may rise.
At the main hospital in Hamdaniya, a town east of the region’s capital Mosul, dozens of people arrived to donate blood to help the injured.