Middle East

At least 100 killed as fire rips through wedding party in Iraq

By Nechirvan Mando and Hande Atay Alam

The disaster in the Hamdaniya district of northeast Nineveh governorate, was set off by fireworks, candles, and other materials used during the wedding celebration, the Iraqi Civil Defense said.

Nineveh governor Najm Al-Jubouri told the Iraqi state news agency INA that the injured were transferred to hospitals in Nineveh and the Kurdistan region.

“There is no final count of the deceased and injured yet,” Al-Jubouri said, according to INA.

Videos from the scene show thick smoke billowing out of the at the Al Haytham Wedding Hall while crowds and ambulances gather outside.

A wedding guest told local media that the bride and groom were safe but devastated.

People gather outside a hospital following the fatal fire.

“The bride and groom are fine. I was just with them now, but their condition is devastating due to what happened to people here,” the guest told private Iraqi channel Alawla TV.

The wedding hall where the fire broke out was covered with highly flammable Ecobond panels that violated safety instructions requirements, according to the Iraqi Civil Defense, ANI reported.

“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,” the Civil Defense statement said.

Iraqi officials walk at the site of a fire that tore through a wedding celebration.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani has instructed his cabinet to assist those affected by the fire, according to a statement from his office.

The Iraqi leader has been in touch with the Nineveh governor by telephone about the incident and ordered a full mobilization to aid the victims, according to his office and INA.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq expressed its condolences to family members of those killed and injured Tuesday, calling the incident “an immense tragedy.”

“Shocked and pained by the horrible loss of life and injuries in the fire,” the mission said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

CNN’s Aqeel Najim contributed reporting from Baghdad.

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