100 people died and 150 were seriously injured in a fire during a wedding ceremony in Iraq. The reason behind the fire is still under investigation. The incident is being reported from the northern area of Iraq. Iraq’s health minister has confirmed to AFP that health authorities in Nineveh province have “confirmed 100 deaths in a fire at a wedding hall in Hamdaniyah”, Iraqi press agency INA reported, citing “preliminary counts”. Whereas 150 people have also been injured in this incident.
At the main hospital in Hamdaniyah, a predominantly Christian city east of Mosul, an AFP photographer saw dozens of ambulances arriving with sirens blaring and dozens of people arriving to donate blood. Some people were also seen carrying several black body bags at the door of a refrigerated truck.
According to information available so far, Civil Defense officials reported the presence of pre-fabricated panels inside the event hall, which were “highly inflammable and in violation of safety standards”, where the fire broke out.
Parts of the roof also collapsed due to the fire caused by the use of highly flammable, low-cost construction materials, the statement said. Initial investigation has revealed that fireworks were set off during the wedding, due to which the fire broke out.
Notably, safety standards are often ignored in Iraq’s construction and transportation sectors, and the country’s infrastructure is in disrepair after decades of conflict. Because of this, such incidents are becoming common there.