At least 100 people died after a fire at a wedding, a government agency reported
(CNN) — The official Iraqi News Agency, citing local authorities, reported that at least 100 people were killed and 150 others were injured in Iraq after a fire broke out at a wedding party in the village of Qaraqosh, in the Hamdaniya district.
The Iraqi government reported that it declared three days of national mourning over this tragedy.
Earlier, the Iraqi Civil Defense reported in a statement that at least ten people were killed.
The statement added that the disaster that occurred in Al-Haytham Wedding Hall, northeast of Nineveh Governorate, was caused by fireworks, candles and other materials used during the celebration.
Nineveh Governor Najm al-Jubouri told the Iraqi News Agency that the injured were transferred to hospitals in Nineveh and the Kurdistan region.
Al-Jubouri said, according to official media reports, that “there is still no final count of the dead and wounded.”
Videos from the scene show thick smoke rising from the building as crowds and ambulances gather outside.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani asked the Ministers of Interior and Health to do everything in their power to help those affected by the fire, according to a statement from his office.
The Iraqi leader made a phone call with the governor of Nineveh regarding the incident and ordered full mobilization to assist the victims, according to his office and the Iraqi National Agency.
The guest says the newlyweds are devastated but safe
One of the guests at the ceremony told the private Iraqi Al-Oula channel that the couple at the wedding felt sad but safe.
The man said: “The bride and groom are fine. I was just with them, but their condition is devastating because of what happened to the people here.”
The wedding hall lacks safety requirements
The official Iraqi News Agency, citing the Iraqi Civil Defense, reported that the wedding hall was covered with highly flammable Ecobond panels, in violation of safety instructions.
The statement said: “The wedding hall was covered with highly flammable Ecobond panels, in violation of safety instructions, and it was referred to the judiciary in accordance with Civil Defense Law No. 44 of 2013 due to the lack of safety requirements for wet alarms and fire extinguishing.” Systems in the Al-Hamdaniya area in Nineveh Governorate.
The statement added, “The fire caused parts of the room to collapse as a result of the use of highly flammable and inexpensive building materials, which collapse within minutes when the fire starts.”
The United Nations sends its condolences
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) expressed, on Tuesday, its condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in a wedding party fire in the Al-Hamdaniya area in northeastern Iraq.
“I am shocked and pained by the terrible loss of life and injuries in the fire that occurred in Al-Hamdaniya in Nineveh. A massive tragedy,” the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
CNN’s Mohamed Tawfiq, Nechirvan Mando and Aqeel Najm contributed to this report.