A devastating fire erupted during a wedding celebration in Al-Hamdaniya, located in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, with at least 100 individuals losing their lives and another 150 sustaining injuries.
The celebration, which had brought together hundreds of joyous attendees, took a horrific turn late in the evening on Tuesday when flames suddenly engulfed the venue.
The exact cause of the inferno remains under investigation, but preliminary reports suggest that it was triggered by the ignition of fireworks.
Initial assessments indicate that highly flammable panels within the premises may have exacerbated the situation. These combustible materials are known to disintegrate within moments when exposed to fire, leading to the collapse of portions of the hall.
Iraq’s civil defense directorate stated, “The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when a fire breaks out,” as reported by the state news agency INA.
Initially, it was unclear whether the bride and groom were among the victims. However, a local health official later confirmed at a press conference that they had tragically lost their lives.
Distressing images posted on social media depicted dozens of firefighters valiantly battling the blaze. Furthermore, pictures shared by local journalists showcased the charred remnants of the event hall.
Firefighters could be seen meticulously searching through the wreckage of the building in their quest to locate survivors on Wednesday morning.
Eyewitnesses recounted that hundreds of people were present, joyfully celebrating when the building suddenly caught fire at approximately 10:45 PM local time (19:45 GMT) on Tuesday.