At least 100 or more killed as fire engulfs wedding party in Iraq: A fire that tore through a wedding party in the northern Nineveh region of Iraq claimed the lives of at least 100 people and injured over 150 more, according to local authorities and emergency services. Enoughinfo.com
113 individuals have been reported killed so far, according to Nineveh Deputy Governor Hassan al-Allaq, who spoke with the Reuters news agency. Tuesday night, at about 10:45 p.m. local time (19:45 GMT), the fire was said to have begun.
“I thought there had been an explosion,” said Martin Idriss, 19, who was working in the kitchen when the fire broke out Tuesday evening in the venue in the mainly Christian northern town of Qaraqosh.
“The flames were devouring the whole hall,” he said.
“When I went back in, I saw the charred bodies of three children,” he said, adding that the venue’s emergency exits had proved “inadequate” for the hundreds of guests trying to escape.
At least 100 or more killed as fire engulfs wedding party in Iraq
Prior to the fire spreading to highly combustible building materials, early reports and unconfirmed video footage posted online stated that flares shot up glittering flames that ignited ceiling ornaments.
In a “preliminary tally,” Iraq’s official INA news agency stated that health officials “counted 100 dead and more than 150 injured in the fire at a marriage hall in Hamdaniyah,” as the town is also known.
Health ministry spokesperson Saif al-Badr confirmed the death toll to AFP, stating that the majority of the injured were receiving treatment for burns, oxygen deprivation, and crush injuries they had incurred during their fight to escape. Osimhen Deletes Napoli Instagram photos amid TikTok scandal
Over 450 casualties were recorded by the Iraqi Red Crescent; however, they did not provide a breakdown of deaths and injuries. Ukraine to boycott all UEFA competitions featuring Russian teams
Black corpse bags were being put into a refrigerated truck at the town’s major hospital, where AFP photographer witnessed ambulances with sirens blasting and scores of people assembling to donate blood.
Mangled metal chairs were scattered among the rubble in the charred remnants of the reception hall, where police and firemen were still searching through it early on Wednesday.
The facility was equipped with prefabricated panels that were “highly flammable and contravened safety standards,” according to civil defense authorities.
The “release of toxic gases linked to the combustion of the panels,” which contained plastic, increased the risk, according to a statement.
They said that “preliminary information” indicated the fire was started by indoor fireworks.
Four arrest warrants were filed for the venue’s owners, and nine employees were taken into custody, Interior Ministry spokesperson General Saad Maan told AFP.