Bride, Groom Among 114 Killed In Wedding Party Fire In Iraq (Photos, Video)
A bride and groom are among 114 killed in a wedding party fire in Iraq, BBC report.
At least 100 people have died and 150 others injured after a fire broke out at a wedding in northern Iraq.
Hundreds of people were celebrating in Qaraqosh in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province when fire tore through the venue late on Tuesday evening.
It is not yet known what caused the blaze, but early reports say it broke out after fireworks were lit.
Flammable panels in the venue may have fuelled the flames, causing parts of the ceiling to catch fire and fall.
“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 fire breaks out,” Iraq’s civil defence directorate said, quoted by state news agency INA.
It was not initially clear if the bride and the groom were among the victims but a local health official later confirmed at a press conference that they had died.
A photo posted by Nina showed dozens of firefighters battling the fire, and pictures from local journalists on social media show the charred-out remains of inside the event hall.
Firefighters could be seen climbing over the wreckage of the building in search of survivors on Wednesday morning.
Eyewitnesses said hundreds of people were there celebrating when the building caught fire at around 10:45 local time (19:45 GMT) on Tuesday.
“We saw the fire pulsating, coming out of the hall. Those who managed got out and those who didn’t got stuck. Even those who made their way out were broken,” Imad Yohana, a 34-year-old who escaped the inferno, told Reuters.
Another wedding guest, Rania Waad, who sustained a burn to her hand, said that as the bride and groom were slow dancing “fireworks started to climb to the ceiling, the whole hall went up in flames”.
“We couldn’t see anything,” the 17-year-old told news agency AFP. “We were suffocating, we didn’t know how to get out.”
The deputy governor of Nineveh, Hassan al-Allaq, told Reuters that 113 people had been confirmed dead, while state news agency INA put the death toll at at least 100, with 150 people injured.
The injured have been transferred to hospitals across the Nineveh region, the region’s governor told INA.
But he suggested that the number of deaths and injuries was not fixed and may rise.
At the main hospital in Qaraqosh, which is east of the region’s capital Mosul, dozens of people arrived to donate blood to help the injured. The town of Qaraqosh is also known as al-Hamdaniya and Bakhdida in Iraq.
Iraq’s prime minister posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had told officials to “mobilise all efforts to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate incident”.