At least 100 killed in blaze at wedding party in Nineveh
In Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, hundreds were celebrating when fire tore through Al-Hamdaniya late Tuesday night.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but early reports indicate fireworks caused it.
A fire may have been caused by flammable panels in the venue, causing parts of the ceiling to catch fire.
INA, citing Iraq’s civil defence directorate, reported that parts of the hall collapsed due to a fire caused by low-cost, highly flammable building materials.
It was unclear whether the bride and groom were victims. Initially, Iraqi media reported the victims had died in the blaze, but later Nina reported they were alive and receiving burn treatment.
In a photo posted by Nina, dozens of firefighters were battling the fire, and on social media, images show the charred remains of the event hall.
On Wednesday morning, firefighters climbed over the wreckage of the building in search of survivors. At around 10:45 local time (19:45 GMT) on Tuesday, hundreds of people were celebrating when the building caught fire.
The fire pulsated out of the hall. Those who escaped got stuck and those who didn’t got stuck got injured,” Imad Yohana, 34, who escaped the inferno, told Reuters.
As the bride and groom were slow dancing, “fireworks started climbing to the ceiling, the whole hall went up in flames,” said Rania Waad, who suffered a burn to her hand.
According to AFP, the 17-year-old said he couldn’t see anything. “We were suffocating, we couldn’t find a way out.”