According to authorities, a fire at a wedding hall in northern Iraq resulted in at least 100 fatalities and 150 injuries.
According to authorities, the incident occurred in the Hamdaniya neighborhood of Iraq’s Nineveh region.
Just beyond the northern city of Mosul, which is located 335 kilometers (205 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad, is a region that is primarily Christian. As a guy yelled at firefighters, television images showed burned debris inside the wedding hall.
Saif al-Badr, a spokesman for the health ministry, provided the number of casualties via the official Iraqi News Agency.
Al-Badr stated that “every effort is being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident.”
Nineveh’s province governor, Najim al-Jubouri, reported that some of the injured had been sent to nearby hospitals. He advised that there were still unconfirmed casualty numbers from the fire, indicating that the death toll could potentially increase.
Although the source of the fire was not immediately known, early reports by the Kurdish television news channel Rudaw stated that fireworks at the event may have been what started the fire. According to civil defense personnel who were cited by the Iraqi News Agency, the wedding hall’s outside was embellished with combustible cladding.
The use of cheap, extremely flammable building materials, which collapse in a matter of minutes when a fire breaks out, caused parts of the hall to fall as a result of the fire, according to civil defense.
Although corruption and poor management are still widespread in Iraq two decades after the U.S.-led invasion that destroyed Saddam Hussein, it wasn’t immediately obvious why officials there authorized the cladding to be used on the hall.
Although some cladding types can be composed of fire-resistant material, experts claim that those that have caught fire at wedding halls and other locations weren’t built to fulfill more stringent safety regulations and were frequently installed on buildings without any breaks to delay or stop a potential flame.
This includes numerous high-rise fires in the United Arab Emirates as well as the 2017 Grenfell Fire in London, which claimed 72 lives and was the deadliest fire on British territory since World War II.
— The National Independent (@NationalIndNews) September 27, 2023