A tragic incident occurred at a wedding in northern Iraq, resulting in the loss of lives and injuries. More than 100 people have died, and around 150 others were hurt when a fire broke out during the celebration in Al-Hamdaniya, located in the northern Nineveh province of Iraq. This area is near the city of Mosul, about 400 kilometers (approximately 250 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
The exact cause of the fire is not yet known, but early reports suggest that it started after fireworks were set off before bride and groom’s slow dance. Roughly 1,000 people were attending the event when the fire erupted.
The materials used in constructing the event hall were highly flammable, which likely contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. Additionally, the building appeared to lack proper safety measures, including emergency exits. The presence of flammable panels in the venue added to the danger, causing parts of the ceiling to catch fire and collapse.
The use of these materials led to the instant collapse of portions of the hall during the fire. It was made worse by the release of toxic gases from the burning panels, which contained plastic.
Initial reports in Iraqi media suggested that the bride and groom might have been among the victims, but later reports indicated that they were alive and receiving treatment for burns.
Videos and photos shared on social media captured the chaotic scene, with burning panels falling from the ceiling, guests attempting to flee, and firefighters battling the blaze.
Eyewitnesses described a horrifying situation, with people getting trapped and struggling to escape as the fire rapidly engulfed the hall. “We observed the flames pulsing as it emerged from the hall. Those who succeeded exited, but those who failed remained trapped. Even those who managed to flee the inferno were damaged, according to Imad Yohana, 34, a survivor.
The bride and groom were slow dancing when, according to Rania Waad, another wedding guest who had burns to her hand, “fireworks started to climb to the ceiling, the whole hall went up in flames.”
According to the 17-year-old, “We couldn’t see anything.” “We were drowning and had no idea how to escape.”
As of now, the deputy governor of Nineveh confirmed that at least 113 people have died, while state news agency INA reported a death toll of at least 100, with 150 people injured. The injured have been transported to hospitals in the Nineveh region, and the number of casualties may still increase.
Iraq’s prime minister expressed his condolences and urged officials to provide assistance to those affected by this tragic incident.