Thursday, May 30, 2024

    More Than 100 Dead In Iraq Wedding Fire After ‘Firework Was Set Off Before New Bride And Groom’s First Dance’

    More than 100 people have died and at least 150 are injured after a fire at a Christian wedding celebration in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

    The fire ripped through a large events hall in the north-eastern region after fireworks were lit during the celebration, local civil defence said, according to state media.

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    Nineveh Deputy Governor Hassan al Allaq told Reuters that 113 people have been confirmed dead. Health Ministry spokesman Saif al Badr earlier put the number of injured at 150 via the state-run Iraqi News Agency.

    Witnesses have said the bride, named Haneen, and the groom, named Revan, survived the fire after initial reports said they had died.

    Video footage shows the couple dancing as burning pieces of material fall from the roof.

    Eyewitnesses at the site said the building caught fire at around 10.45pm local time and that up to 900 people were in attendance.

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    One of those injured in the fire told an Associated Press reporter from hospital: “(The bride and groom) were about to do a slow dance and then they lit up this thing for the dance which caught fire.”

    Another man who was in the hospital with his injured brother said men, women and children had died.

    Asked how the fire started, he continued: “They were about to do a slow dance, so they lit up fireworks. It hit the ceiling, which caught fire.”

    He added the entire hall was on fire “in seconds”.

    Footage shows firefighters clambering over the charred wreckage of the building in search of survivors.

    Preliminary information indicated that the building was made of highly flammable construction materials, contributing to

    its rapid collapse, state media said.

    Civil defence officials have reportedly said the wedding hall’s exterior was decorated with highly flammable cladding that is illegal in the country.

    Photo Credit: Getty

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